Dereck Revington Studio
SAN BERNARDINO DECEMBER 2nd MEMORIAL - San Bernardino, California, USA
Dereck Revington Studio was a finalist in an international competition (of 92 entries) for a memorial to honour the 14 victims of the 2015 December 2nd Terrorist Attack in San Bernardino California.
The Memorial is conceived as a contemplative oasis strategically nestled at a crossroads in the high ground of the county building’s campus. Sinuous pathways from within the park lead through desert vegetation to its forecourt, to the white monumental Wall of Honor and into the inner sanctuary. By cutting partially into the ground at the north and by raising an intimate secluded enclosure, the eye and the ear are drawn into the memorial’s reclusive interior, lifted to the sky, to the palm trees framing the distant San Bernardino Mountains and beyond. An intimate immensity now opens at the fulcrum, where inside and outside, sky and water, desert and oasis, mountain and memorial echo and reverberate.
In the lower northeast corner of the inner sanctuary an immense bronze monolith -The Rock- rises above the walls. As though sprung from the force of its impact, it appears suspended above the tear-shaped crater it has left in the ground. To the west, and touched by the void, an eternal source, the Wellspring, flows from the ground, brimming and overflowing. At sunrise each day, the memorial is calm, the rock casts its shadow and the wellspring gently stirs.
At 10:58 a.m. (the time the shooting began on December 2, 2015) living water seeps and surges, streaming from beneath the rock; pooling in the tear-shaped void as it rises, overflowing and spreading to the walls as it floods the lower court and the wellspring like an incoming tide. We are struck by the rock, by the outpouring, and by the brimming undercurrents spreading from the wellspring. At 11:01 a.m. (when the shooting abated) the tide stills. Slowly and gently the flood draws back. Throughout the day shadows tremble, sun plays on water and its spectral reflections shimmer on the canvas of the walls.
At sunset the court has drained and the wellspring never ceases brimming with its gentle unstoppable resolve.