SFS Architecture

Civic

Joshua’s Story

Overland Park, Kansas

Design and fabrication of a memorial honoring a young man whose life ended too soon.

Challenge

Create a memorial in an established Arboretum honoring Joshua’s passion for sustainability, social justice and the natural environment and using natural materials.

Process

The SFS Studio Fabrication team met with family to learn more about Joshua and discuss ideas for the memorial. Early conceptual drawings delineated the memorial; however, many design decisions were made onsite during construction by the architects/craftsmen. Natural materials, including previously cut local timber, were utilized to create many of the elements comprising the memorial.

Solution

The architects/craftsmen brought the memorial to life through the design, fabrication and installation of multiple site elements, such as seating and steel/stone gabions. Weathering steel was used to convey the young man’s thoughts and ideals. Some of Joshua’s favorite quotes were cut into metal plates adorning timber pieces. A curved weathering steel retaining wall allowed for the retention of existing trees and grade. Ipe wood was used to create the various seating elements. The wood’s deep rich color complements the weathering steel used in the various elements and its durability contributes to a long-lasting and beautiful memorial tribute.

“"The architects/craftsmen gave the space life that speaks directly to what our son was about….it is a place of deep peace for us." ”
– Joshua's Family