Endemic Architecture

This proposal, located at the Pritzker Archives & Memorial Park Center in Somers, Wisconsin, is for a memorial bell tower in rememberance of the Cold War and it’s veterans. At this site a marker of time and civic identity is proposed: the bell tower.  In this memorial, the bell tower tells the time of three distinct intervals of time. Mechanical time, which is cultural and establishes daily rituals and schedules. Celestial time, which is universal yet mythical, marking both earthly seasonal change and far off galaxies. And, Lunar time, which is said to influence both psychological (ie, lunatics - or lunar-ticks) and tidal effects. The combination of the three bell tolls indexes multiple time intervals, and in so doing expands the notion of site through the bell tower’s acoustic reach. Amplified in this is an increased awareness of the various measures of time. This underscores the multiple facets of time related to the the Cold War; the covert systemization of military defense, the daily anxieties of potential nuclear war, the prolonged avoidance of a perilous ending, and a kind of retrsopective bewilderment by it all. In this bell tower, a Nike Missile Silo (the Nike missiles were installed in large, rectangular pits around norhtern cities across the U.S. (between 8-17 pits depending on the city) to intercept any incoming ICBM missiles) appears to have surfaced and has thus inverted from an existence as a covert bunker into an exposed social plinth from which the bell tower rises. Below ground, accessed by one of four cuts in the landscape, a large chamber room reminds of the covert Cold War history tucked into the American cities and farms. From here, visitors ascend to a gallery, small theater, and look-out atop the tower. 

Copyright, Endemic Architecture 2021