Their work begins in earnest May 18 when the international jury convenes in Washington. But for the past two years, the two have been working with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Inc. of Baltimore to establish the parameters for the competition open to architects in practice and faculty and students at schools of architecture in North America, Europe, Asia, South America and the Middle East. Nearly 1,000 entries are anticipated by the May 1 deadline.
The four-acre site chosen for the project is located along the northwestern edge of the Tidal Basin, on a direct line between the memorials of presidents Lincoln and Jefferson. Among the issues competitors must consider are the site location and size, historic cherry trees in the area, the lay of the land, avenues of approach and accommodation of visitors, accessibility, paving, the nocturnal experience of the memorial, soil conditions, climate, noise, utilities, and servicing and maintenance.
Added to the design challenge is the vision of the Foundation to establish the memorial as an international place of celebration, congregation, and contemplation . . . a place that serves to educate and inspire. Competitors will work towards designs that reflect the man, the movement and his message.
Chaffers and Lockard, along with the other jurors, will be challenged to choose a monument that:
This will be intensive work, Chaffers says. We will have to explain our choices to the other jurors and work together until we reach a decision that meets the Foundations vision. The results will be a memorial that will last long after we are gone.