Style Spy Special Feature: Building Hope, September 11 Memorial and One World Trade Center

by Rakks | September 14th, 2011

September 11 Memorial
Arguably the most meaningful building project taken on in the United States, located at Ground Zero, the September 11 Memorial and One World Trade Center are architectural beacons of hope and symbols of strength, determination and resilience. Architect Michael Arad and Landscape Architect Peter Walker & Partners won the coveted opportunity to design the memorial and the new skyscraper from over 5,200 entrants from 63 countries in the international design competition held in 2003.

Michael Arad’s work includes the Union Station Tower in Hong Kong and the Espirito Santo Plaza in Miami, which won the New York Chapter of American Institute of Architects’ Design Award Citation in 2001. Peter Walker & Partners was founded in 1983 and is known for their “timeless and unique” designs with projects including the Center for Clinical Sciences Research at Stanford University, Toyota Museum of Art in Japan and the Millennium Park for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Carefully planning and consideration culminated in the stunning memorial and impressive One World Trade Center building; the architects explained:

“This memorial proposes a space that resonates with the feelings of loss and absence that were generated by the destruction… It is located in a field of trees that is interrupted by two large voids containing recessed pools. The pools are set within the footprints of the Twin Towers. A cascade of water…feeds the pools with a continuous stream. They are large voids, open and visible reminders of the absence.

“The surface…is punctuated by…rows of deciduous trees, forming informal clusters, clearings and groves. This surface consists of a composition of stone pavers, plantings and low ground cover.

“Surrounding the pools on bronze parapets are the names [of the victims]. The enormity of this space and the multitude of names underscore the vast scope of the destruction. Standing there at the water’s edge, looking at a pool of water that is flowing away into an abyss, a visitor to the site can sense that what is beyond this parapet edge is inaccessible.




“The memorial plaza is designed to be a mediating space; it belongs both to the city and to the memorial…the plaza encourages the use of this space by New Yorkers on a daily basis. The memorial grounds will not be isolated from the rest of the city; they will be a living part of it.”

For the complete architects’ design statement, visit the 9/11 Memorial website.

One World Trade Center is set to open for business in 2013 and the memorial opened on Monday to the public.

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