Placement of the memorial was achieved through careful study of total area bounded by Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and the relationship of memorials to each other.  A lagoon-like indentation of the tidal basin suggested a strong axial composition which related effectively, not only the immediate site, but to the total area.  Further study indicated that by increasing the contours to form a mound, exciting vistas became possible allowing one to apprehend (through participation) the placement and total composition as designed.  Parking areas became informal inlets which lead to paths that wind through carefully sculptured ground areas to a rim of hawthone trees defining elliptical mound.  A series of experiences are possible: the park-like area, the open meadows leading to the rim of trees, the glimpses through the trees of the mound and the memorial, final ascent toward the climax. 


Elliptical mound is echoed in stairs that diminish along the major axis to a pure circle platform base.  This platform continues the slope in its floor as it culminates in an interior circle where man and the image of Roosevelt (a larger than life size bust) meet.  It seemed somehow fitting that the image of the man here honored the man who has come to honor him should share the architectural climax.


The eight beams and column elements are cantilevered in two directions and a dynamic sort of tension is created, since they do not touch at the inner post point.  A structure and execution possible in our time using materials and technic that permit it.  At these points they support a precast concrete "lens" that lights the inner circle.  Roof opening llights the four column plaques where quotations and relief sculpture depict events of history.   The beam separations act as viewing slits for the spectator within as he looks out from the structure to corresponding openings at the facia points.  The building is so oriented that the slits coincide with views toward the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. 


This happy possiblity through careful juxtaposition of the structure, made even more positive and visual relationships afforded through this use of site and structure. 


Reinforced concrete material is sand-blasted to various degrees with ultimate refinement occuring as one comes closer to the interior.  Site and structure become quiet forces--silent as a gesture-- fused by unity of intention.