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Design Chosen for AIDS Memorial

Plan Pays Tribute to Those Lost to Epidemic

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs
Posted April 19, 2000

A design inspired by Japanese landscapes, which incorporates a ghost wall, meditation path and pool, and a stone skylight, has won the Berkeley AIDS Memorial competition.

The winning entry was designed by Patricia Rhee, who works for Perry Dean Rogers & Partners, Architects in Boston. She combined three simple elements that interact to create a place of "solemn contemplation and memorial celebration."

One of the three elements, a ghost wall, consists of translucent glass bricks etched with the names of those affiliated with Berkeley who lost their lives to AIDS. They are spaced an inch apart and appear to float. Shadows from the wall are reflected in the second element, a meditation pool that can be reached by a pathway. The third element, a stone skylight, hangs from above.

"The design for the memorial developed after looking at Japanese gardens and the quietness and solitude of these spaces," said Rhee. "The light court is a room for the metaphoric ghosts, the victims of AIDS…we enter the room and become part of their space."

The memorial will be housed in an open-air light court in Doe Library.

Rhee received her masters in architecture from Harvard in 1998. Though not affiliated with Berkeley, her fiancée and several colleagues are alumni.

Judges for the competition included Anne Healy, professor of art; Harrison Fraker, dean of the College of Environmental Design; Stanley Saitowitz, architecture professor; Patty Iannuzzi, associate university librarian; Meghan Lane, an undergraduate student; and Jonathan Winters, a staff person living with HIV and member of the AIDS Memorial Committee.

"It was a difficult decision, as there were many fine, imaginative and interesting designs submitted," said Winters. "Rhee's design was chosen because it came closest to capturing many of the elements we wanted to see."

Winters added that the design was favored because of its use of the space overhead. "It gives the feel of an interior room, yet does not block the light."

Rhee will be awarded a $1,000 prize for her entry. The second place winner, Jerry Jai of Berkeley, receives $300 and the third runner up, Michael Kao, also of Berkeley, takes home $200. An honorable mention was given to James Dinh and Jeffrey Longhenry.

Now that a winner has been selected, the Berkeley AIDS Memorial Committee begins the fund-raising phase of the project. Approximately $75,000 to $100,000 will need to be raised, said committee chairman Alex Warren. The group will work with the alumni association to identify potential corporate donors and organize the effort.

Warren expects fund raising to be completed by 2001, with construction beginning sometime in 2002.

Those wishing to donate to the memorial can send checks, made out to UC Regents, to: Berkeley AIDS Memorial Project, Regents' Fund #44229, Library Development Office, 188 The Library, 94720-6000.

Views of all the design submissions will be posted on the AIDS Memorial Web site at (




April 19-26, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 29)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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