‘Constellation garden’ design revealed for UNC Charlotte Remembrance Memorial

UNC Charlotte holds day of remembrance 2 years after shooting

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The developers and design has been revealed for the UNC Charlotte Remembrance Memorial, honoring those who lost their lives and were injured in the 2019 campus shooting.

A “constellation garden” that follows the orientation of the stars above the Kennedy Building on April 30, 2019, is the basis of the conceptual design for the memorial.

The memorial will honor and forever remember Riley Howell and Reed Parlier, who lost their lives, and pay tribute to Rami Alramadhan, Sean DeHart, Emily Houpt and Drew Pescaro, who suffered physical injuries, and everyone who was present in Kennedy 236.

Brook Muller, dean of UNC Charlotte’s College of Arts and Architecture and chair of the Memorial Jury, announced the decision for the permanent memorial on April 30 during the 2021 virtual Day of Remembrance commemoration, two years after the shooting.

The design, submitted by TEN x TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, Hypersonic Collaborative and Susan Hatchell Landscape Architecture, was selected from four finalists and a total of 36 submissions from locally and nationally known design teams.

All the finalists’ designs were incredibly creative,” said Muller. “The presentation led by TEN X TEN Landscape Architecture and Urbanism, however, was moving and emotional. Every element is active, engaging and powerfully connected to the UNC Charlotte community. The depiction of the stars, portrayed by lights that are activated when people touch the memorial’s arched structure; the adjacent gathering spaces that feature plants imbued with deep symbolism represent emotions such as sorrow, divine sacrifice, strength, hope, love and peace; and stone benches etched with the names of Reed and Riley create an atmosphere of contemplation and reflection, with textured earthbound elements complementing those that are high-tech.”

TEN X TEN will begin meeting with University stakeholders including students, faculty and staff to present the conceptual design illustrating how the commemorative space will be developed. Groundbreaking for the memorial is expected in April 2022.

“In my time as chancellor, I have watched and learned from a community that has been united and fortified by the challenges it has endured,” said Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber. “I fully endorse the commission’s recommendations. It is a beautiful memorial that unites Riley’s love of nature with Reed’s passion for technology — and captures the strength and resilience of our survivors and Niner Nation. It is a memorial that will stand the test of time.”

The University’s 2021 Day of Remembrance events began with an early-morning ceremonial wreath laying led by UNC Charlotte’s Department of Police and Public Safety (PPS) in front of the Kennedy Building. Throughout the day, the University hosted several virtual and in-person events to bring together faculty, staff and students.

The day culminated with a Virtual Remembrance Program from 5:15 to 5:40 p.m., concluding with the ringing of the UNC Charlotte ceremonial bell at the time of the 2019 shooting.

Virtual Remembrance Program held on two-year anniversary of UNC Charlotte shooting

The program was offered online and broadcast at Jerry Richardson Stadium. At sundown, PPS led the removal of the wreaths from their daylong positions at Kennedy.

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