Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center
How does one adequately commemorate the loss of life? How can designers create spaces that represent pain and longing, while also communicating resilience and fortitude? We were aware of the immense responsibility that came with designing the Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center and navigating the challenges it entailed. We explored how we might create a center that was evocative, subtle and beautiful, yet did not detract from the cemetery and the surrounding site.
The answer lay in SmithGroup’s architectural vocabulary and integrating it with the landscape. We were creating to remember the past, but designing for the present and future, and wanted the style to depict a modern and minimalist feel.
Because of our efforts to design in continuity with the existing infrastructure, the center from afar appears as an extension of the cemetery.
A modern remembrance of an historic and tragic day, the new Normandy American Cemetery Visitor Center blends the beauty of the site and the significance of the war, with the tempered grief that lingers today.