Ten years since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the National September 11 Memorial was dedicated in a private ceremony with the victims’ families. It was officially opened to the public as of today, September 12th. The opening of the 9/11 Memorial is a first step towards the closing of a long chapter of construction at the World Trade Center site.
Michael Arad of Handel Architects, with landscape architect Peter Walker, submitted the winning proposal for The National September 11 Memorial. Their design involved two large square pools on the sunken site, with waterfalls cascading into the center, where the depth is unclear. Victims’ names from the 2001 and 1993 attacks are cut into bronze panels along the two pools. A grove of trees will continue to be planted and grow to define the original footprints of the two World Trade Center buildings. The Memorial’s opening on the anniversary of the attacks is a symbolic opening for the entire site. Several other projects associated with the area are still under construction, with projected opening dates in 2012.
Davis Brody Bond is the sole design architect for the The Memorial Museum, located below the plaza, and in this role is responsible for the alignment of the memorial pools over the original tower footprints. Additionally, Davis Brody Bond served as associate architect for the implementation of the Memorial designed by Michael Arad and Peter Walker. Peter Walker and Partners is responsible for the production of landscape elements on the Memorial plaza. Snøhetta, with AAI Architects, PC, is responsible for the design and implementation of the Memorial Pavilion which serves as the entrance to the Memorial Museum.
Although not a part of the National September 11 Memorial, One World Trade Center, is another big project adjacent to the World Trade Center site that is soon to be completed. The Tower, which rises to the height of the original World Trade Center buildings was envisioned by Daniel Liebeskind in his plan for the site. It has been highly visible in downtown New York as well as in the press as a symbol of reconstruction. The Tower is comprised of a solid cubic base that chamfers at the corners to create eight isocoles triangles wrapping around to become the façade. It was designed by SOM and is scheduled for completion in September of 2012.
Every project associated with the site is cognizant and respectful of the events that took place ten years prior. The buildings and pavilion are a mix of programs and intentions, but each one is a strong reminder of the not too distant past with a positive vision and hope for the future.