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Ennead Architects to design Penn State's Veterans Plaza
The memorial occupies a culturally and spatially significant spot on campus, sited to become a central part of the campus experience. ©Ennead Architects.

NEW YORK, N.Y.- Pennsylvania State University has selected Ennead Architects in collaboration with Sculptor Mark Mennin as winner of the design competition for the new Veterans Plaza. The gift of the class of 2011, the memorial will honor Penn State veterans. Ennead partners Richard Olcott and Timothy Hartung will lead the design team.

In a pivotal location adjacent to both the University's Old Main and its quad and Pollack Road, the memorial occupies a culturally and spatially significant spot on campus, sited to become a central part of the campus experience.

Preliminary plans for the Veterans Plaza feature a circular walkway and curved wall made of precast concrete, centered around an artistic representation of a warrior’s shield, symbolizing honor and sacrifice.

The plaza’s curved wall will be named to honor Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a 1998 liberal arts graduate and the only Penn State alumnus to earn the Medal of Honor. Lt. Murphy, a Navy Seal, posthumously received the U.S. military's highest decoration for his actions in 2005 during the war in Afghanistan.

The proposed shield form is a ten-foot-diameter disc carved in polished black “jet-mist” granite set to float above the grass, its surface carved to simulate “rippling water” and thus to evoke a feeling of contemplation.

With this project, Ennead will now have designed three projects for Penn State, including the Dickinson School of Law’s Lewis Katz Building on the University Park campus and the Lewis Katz Hall on the Carlisle campus. Richard Olcott and Timothy Hartung, along with partner Kevin McClurkan, led the Ennead design team for these previous projects.

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