Levine Architects | Revelations at the Vietnam War Memorial

Revelations at the Vietnam War Memorial


After visiting the iconic Vietnam War Memorial in DC, I discovered some surprises.

Note the scale change. From a distance, the memorial looks small, nestled in the trees.  From up close, the emotional weight and strength of the wall with 57,000 names of lost American soldiers is massive.

Approaching the memorial, the hinge angle shape assumes a kinetic force.  The angle of the walls looks flat and obtuse.  At the top of the ramp, it bends into a right angle, as if the wings of a bird folded in to embrace the experience, making it personal, intimate, quiet.

The shape of overlapping V’s appear from above in site plan and also carved into the ground, in “section”.

V for Vietnam.  V for Victory.  V as a two-fingered peace symbol.

Design by Ted Levine