US Air Force Memorial

Three spires made of stainless steel and reinforced concrete soar skyward to form the US Air Force Memorial in Arlington near Washington DC. 75 Beamer spotlights provide proper illumination at night.

The US capital Washington is separated from the Arlington Air Force Base only by the Potomac River. Here, a foundation set up specifically for this purpose raised a widely visible Air Force Memorial in commemoration of the veterans and fallen airmen who served in the American Air Force. The three spires soar skyward in a taper to heights of over 80m and are made of stainless steel plated reinforced concrete. Designed by James Ingo Freed, a partner of I.M. Pei who died in 2005, their form mimics the contrails of jets streaking upward in "bomb burst" formation.

The memorial rising up for over 80m is illuminated by the narrow-beam focused light of 75 precisely adjusted Beamer spotlights fitted with powerful 250W metal halide lamps. The spotlights are hidden behind a granite wall to prevent glare for visitors.

Additional elements of the lighting concept for the monument include Beamer spotlights at the spire bases, illuminated base plates made of glazed panels forming a five-pointed star, the insignia of the Air Force, and Tesis recessed floor luminaires for the illumination of the bronze "Honour Guard".

One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA, 22211

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners , New York

Lighting design: Office for Visual Interaction, Inc. (OVI)
Jean M. Sundin, Enrique Peiniger, New York

Statics / consultant engineers:
Ove Arup & Partners, London

Facts and figures:
Height: 82m
Material: reinforced concrete structure, stainless steel plating
Weight: 7300 t
Cost: approx. 30 mill. US $
Completion: September 2006
Dedication ceremony: 14-15 October 2006

(Source: Airforce Memorial Foundation)

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