this September 11th, 2011 marks the ten year anniversary of 9/11. after the towers were destroyed, there was much debate on what should be done with the space and after much anticipation, the 9/11 memorial will be open to the public this September.
a global competition was held to decide how to use this space. after 5,200 submissions, an architect by the name of Michael Arad and a landscape architect named Peter Walker were given the honor to re-design the space. the memorial consists of two pools that lie where the towers used to. the surrounding space is filled with beautiful swamp white oak trees. Arad and Walker both incorporated sustainable design into this project. the names of the 3,000 victims of both the attacks on 9/11 as well as the attacks in February of 1993 will be displayed.
the designers described the pools as “large voids, open and visible reminders of the absence.” i think this is very important to note because it is necessary to build a memorial that does let us forget what happened — the empty space where the towers once stood is there, staring you in the face, but in a beautiful, reflective way. the pools are giant — almost an acre each in size.
this plaza is a free, public space – open to everyone. some people have been criticizing how sustainable this memorial actually is – questioning how much electricity and money will be used to power the waterfall pools. either way, i commend their efforts to turn the space into something with environmental values in mind.
rainwater will be collected and stored underneath the plaza and the trees were selected for their weather-resistance and durability. Swamp white oaks can grow up to 60 feet tall, and change leaves all the time — “a physical reminder that they are all living individuals.”
i never saw the Twin Towers in person, as I went to NYC for the first time after they fell. but I visited Ground Zero on September 11, 2006 during my first year at NYU. it was an overwhelming experience, very emotional with only two very powerful bright lights extending into the sky. now that people will actually step inside the space i don’t doubt it will be any less emotional. from the renderings, it looks like this will be a very beautiful memorial and i look forward to visiting. what do you all think?
Source: Inhabitat // Images via 9/11Memorial.org