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By: Jeffrey Brown, AIA | Powers Brown Architecture

This monument is offered to the veterans of Fort Bend County as an inadequate acknowledgement of their service to the United States of America. Interpreting the monument requires a willingness to accept it that appeal to many, it must create a sense of both ambiguity and clarity.

The most important aspect of a memorial is to honor veterans. The experience is established by two major architectural components set in juxtaposition- one celebratory, the other contemplative. The power of the monument, its ability to evoke a meaningful and touching effect on its visitors both veterans and their supporters, is driven by the strong contrast between these two ideas.



The celebratory aspect of the monument experience is embodied in the Flag Panel. It relies upon a literal and referential symbolism. There is an abstract but identifiable flag carefully accented with blue tile and red concrete stain. The panel itself is flag-shaped and utilizes a structural flag panel concept to allow a cantilever creating an open gateway effect that is anchored in the lake. The intent is to create an emotional effect of crossing from the profane to the sacred. The Flag Panel acts a gateway across a symbolic river and is calibrated to evoke a sense of pride, a sense of the physical manifestation of service, duty to country and survival.



The tower that is placed directly in the path of the Flag Panel gateway is deliberately ambiguous in its form, contrasting with the simple analogy of the flag panel. Its verticality obviously counter poses the horizontal boundary-defining gateway of the Flag Panel. Its basic form is both familiar and obelisk-like and, at the same time, hard to identify. The tower is comprised of five wall panels huddled together on the island site. They sit within an equal-sided pentagon form. The five branches of the military are symbolized by the pentagon shape and the five huddled wall panels. Each panel is 50 feet tall, ten feet for each branch, and the base width of each of the five panels is driven by the relative size of enrollment in each branch. Thus the Army panel is the widest at the bottom. They all resolve to similar widths at the top where they form an oculus.
As its form is meant to evoke a visceral sense of remembrance, the slightly brooding form and materials are activated by contrasting sunlight. The entry into the tower symbolically faces west, where the day ends and allows the visitor to face east towards a new beginning. Inside a tapered view of the sky anchors the eastern-oriented light slot. Throughout the day a sunbeam traverses over the internal faces of the panels, awakening with light the names of the fallen inscribed on the internal panel faces. The tactile senses are engaged as the rustication at the base of the internal panel faces progresses from rough to smooth symbolizing the progress from chaos to calm war promises.

The monument balances the accessible imagery of the flag panel with the emotive and ineffable experience inside the tower. In so doing, it means what it needs to mean to a diverse constituency of individuals who made the sacrifice to serve and who come to recall those that paid the ultimate price for doing so.


E.E. Reed Construction – General Contractor
Powers Brown Architecture – Architectural Design
Pinnacle Structural Engineers – Structural Engineering
TAS Commercial Concrete – Concrete Contractor
Big 4 Erectors – Tilt-Up Erector, Structural Steel Fabrication
CEMEX – Ready Mix Concrete
CMC Construction Services – Tilt-Up Accessories
CMC Rebar – Steel Reinforcement
WhiteCap Construction Supply – Steel Reinforcement
Nox-Crete Products Group – Tilt-Up Cures & Bondbreakers
Meadow Burke – Lifting and Bracing Design and Hardware
General Technologies – Reinforcement Supports
Nawkaw – Concrete Staining

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