A Glass Bowl / Un Cirque de Verre: LGBTQ2+ National Memorial

Project icon

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

In 2021, the Department of Canadian Heritage, with the government of Canada, initiated a competition to design and build a national Monument dedicated to memorializing the historic discrimination against LGBTQ2+ people in Canada. In what came to be known as the LGBT Purge*, LGBTQ2+ members of the Canadian Armed Forces, the RCMP and the Federal Public Service were systematically discriminated against, harassed, interrogated, arrested, abused, and traumatized during a period that lasted from roughly the 1950’s to the mid-1990’s.

MASS, in collaboration with artist Stephen Andrews, designed The Glass Bowl memorial, an amphitheatre-like space where those who endured the Purge are honored and inscribed upon glass. A curtain of water honors with tears of sorrow and joy. A mosaic, twisting the interior to exterior overhead to become both a metaphorical transformation zone, flows over a ramp into a gathering space and a venue for reflection, activism, and celebration.

Within the vessel, a mosaic flows into a ramp that becomes a gathering space, a stage and a venue for reflection, activism, and celebration. The ramp threads through the stair seating, forming a stage that offers individuals a platform for storytelling and allows everyone to promenade throughout the space. In circling back, the path leads visitors to a gathering “beach” plaza, where they may participate in reclaiming their narratives and encouraging others on their journeys.

Project Details

45.424721, -75.695

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Year: 2021

Status: Unbuilt

Size: 63,453 sq ft

Program: A design competition for a memorial space honoring Canadian LGBTQ2+ individuals

Services: Competition Entry, Concept Design

Christopher Kroner, Annie Wang, Jha D Amazi, Sierra Bainbridge, Michael Murphy, Julie Rhoad, Kelly Alvarez Doran, Cristoforo Magliozzi, Marisol Andrade Muñoz, Erin Huang, Adriana Contarino Henry, Angela Blume

Department of Canadian Heritage & The LGBT Purge Fund

Stephen Andrews: Artist
Arup: Engineering
Mosaika: Artwork Fabrication
Tillett Lighting Design Associates: Lighting Design