Key West
AIDS Memorial

Key West
(Monroe County) FL

Memorial offers vision for contemplation and remembrance.

Long regarded as an
escape destination, Key West is a place where water, sun, and fun have always been de riguer. For many residents and visitors to this resort, though, there has been no escape from the tragedy of the AIDS epidemic. City officials committed themselves to the establishment of a memorial for AIDS victims at a prominent waterfront site not far from "the southernmost point in the USA."

Composite's design for the memorial combined two major elements in response to the overwhelming sea and sky that characterized the proposed site - the Portal and the Plaza. These two elements capture the sun, frame the water, and engage the visitor. It is a simple yet elegant concept that represents "passage" while inspiring meditation and remembrance. Up to 2400 names of those who have fallen to AIDS can be accomodated in the plaza paving. The memorial's creators imagined that both residents of the city and those who call it their second home would be remembered at this contemplative site. In the international competetition for the design of the memorial, Composite's scheme was awarded an Honorable Mention and ranked in the top fifteen submittals from a field of over two hundred.


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