ikon.5 architects - National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, conceived as a modern temple integrated into the rustic landscape
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National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, conceived as a modern temple integrated into the rustic landscape

ikon.5 architects

Culture  /  Completed
ikon.5 architects

New York State and veterans from each war since World War II desired a museum that would express, with honor and dignity, the sacrifices woman and men in service made in preserving liberty for their fellow citizens. They wanted a facility to advance the mission of the Hall of Honor by carrying veteran stories of sacrifice forward through public awareness and education. An existing small museum on the site did not satisfy this desire. To meet this aspiration, the Hall of Honor is conceived as a modern temple integrated into the rustic landscape. Inspired by the 18th century rough-hewn log cabins set into the wooded hillside of George Washington's adjacent historic camp from the American Revolution, the Hall of Honor announces its presence from the road with a civic arcuated portal.

Sitting within a historic sloping camp site where General George Washington established the Purple Heart—for valorous efforts during the American Revolution, the Hall of Honor is conceived as a modern temple integrated into the rustic landscape. Inspired by the 18th-century rough-hewn log cabins of Washington’s historic campsite, the Hall of Honor is sited to announce its presence from the road with the historic camp as background. A one-story sculpted arcuated portal addresses the visitors’ approach from the road and creates a civic monumentally appropriate within this delicate historic landscape. A welcoming promenade negotiates a steeply sloping site and provides a dignified accessible route to the facility.

Sustainable design elements are integrated within the museum design to advance the mission of New York State to provide maximum public benefit through conservation of resources. A photovoltaic array is located on the roof to offset the power requirements from the electric grid. Electric charging stations are provided in the parking lot to encourage electric car use. Radiant heating and cooling is provided in the floor slab for comfort and efficient and effective environmental conditioning. The facility is constructed with a high-performance weathered steel rain screen panel wall system and a west facing weathered steel solar screen that most effectively reduces heat gain on the facility.

The United States National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is a 1115 square meter museum honoring the valor and sacrifice of military women and men who courageously gave of themselves in conflict. The Hall of Honor is templar in its siting on the slope facing the entry to the historic camp where General George Washington first established the medal during the American Revolution. A weathered steel arcuated portico is heroic and distinctive in expressing its mission yet comfortably integrates into the rustic landscape of 18th century rough-hewn log cabins of Washington's cantonment. The weathered steel provides a color and texture that compliments the deep russet colors of the historic cedar cabins that surround the site, thereby feeling both a part of and distinguished from its historic context. Interally, all exhibit and presentation spaces focus visitor views out to the landscape to remind visitors of the Purple Heart's connection to George Washington and the site. An enclosed skylight court houses the Roll of Honor, the place where veterans and their families can register medal recipients and any visitor can search for any of the nearly two million recipients in the Roll of Honor database. programatically, the Hall of Honor includes a welcome gallery, exhibition hall, an orientation theater, and a gift shop. The contemplative garden houses an eternal flame for the memory of the fallen and an outdoor reflection terrace overlooks the Catskill Mountains beyond.

The new Purple Heart Hall of Honor has given us a distinguished civic experience that is commensurate with the sacrifices of the Purple Heart recipients.


 New Windsor
 New York, USA
 New York State Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
 Museum and Visitor Center
 1115 mq
 ikon.5 architects
 ikon.5 architects
 Kokolakis Contracting
 Structural Engineer: LERA Consulting Structural Engineers | Civil Engineer: The Chazen Companies | MEP/F Engineer: Kohler Ronan Consulting Engineers | Landscape Architect: Nancy Owens Studio| Lighting Design: S+S Lighting Design | Exhibit Designer: HealyKohler Design
 Jeffrey Totaro


ikon.5 architects work is rooted in our belief that architecture is storytelling in built form and landscape. Architecture tells the story of the values of a particular people in their place and time. Like poetry and prose, architecture relies on metaphors to convey an expression that is lasting and timeless. Our solutions reflect the regional traditions in which we build and seek a timeless expression that eloquently reflects our client’s stories. Our work is a-stylistic, with no preordained aesthetic expression, and inspired by thoughtful, economic, and sustainable solutions that are meaningful to those who experience our buildings. Our work is united in a commitment to design excellence, social impact, and environmental responsiveness. We believe there is an opportunity for design excellence in all projects, irrespective of size and budget. Our 28-person practice makes artistic works to explore ideas that are rooted in the ethos and heritage of the places where we work.


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