Summer 2015 | Peace Corps Commemorative Competition
Louisiana Avenue NW, Washington DC
The Peace Corps is an organization that establishes universal human connection by overcoming boundaries of politics, culture, and space to foster understanding at a personal level. The mundane, daily activities of the volunteer become the foundation for something transcendental, intimate, and profound. “The Lantern” recognizes the contributions of individual volunteers by making individual visitors the source of life and energy within the work. The site sits at an intersection of various memorial parks and mixed-use buildings. During the daytime, the cool, interior space functions as a public plaza for Washington residents and visitors to enjoy. In the evening, it becomes a landmark destination. A bright, spherical light at the center of the site radiates through translucent stone panels, producing a soft glow that announces its presence to the outside world. Inside, the visitors’ silhouettes are cast onto the stone walls, illuminating the individual onto the Washington Mall. The Mall becomes activated by a discrete moment, generating activity disproportionate to its size, much like each Peace Corps volunteer.