Thursday, September 11, 2008

Building Memories; Preserving 9/11


As the world remembers the seventh anniversary of 9/11, thousands will gather at a ceremony at two massive pools set within the footprints of the Twin Towers- with the largest man-made waterfalls in the country cascading down their sides. They will be a powerful reminder of the Twin Towers and of the unprecedented loss of life from an attack on our soil.

The names of the 2,980 who were killed in the September 11 attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing will be inscribed around the edge of the Memorial pools.

An eight-acre landscaped Memorial Plaza filled with more than 300 trees will create a contemplative space separate from the sights and sounds of the surrounding city. The design is unique in its use of ecological considerations which exceed sustainability standards.

As the Memorial Competition Jury explained its decision, "In its powerful, yet simple articulation of the footprints of the Twin Towers, "Reflecting Absence" has made the voids left by the destruction the primary symbols of our loss. It is a memorial that expresses both the incalculable loss of life and its consoling renewal, a place where all of us come together to remember from generation to generation."

Complementing the Memorial, a state-of-the art memorial will offer visitors an opportunity to deepen their experience at the site. The Museum will help facilitate an encounter with both the enormity of the loss and the triumph of the human spirit that are at the heart of 9/11.

Dynamic exhibitions including artifacts and personal effects; a resource center, contemplative areas, and innovative educational programming will convey responders, area residents, and witnesses.

The Museum, designed by Davis Brody Bond, LLP will have its primary exhibition space below ground. The Museum will be accessed through an entry pavilion designed by Snøhetta. As visitors descend below the Memorial voids, they will see the slurry wall - the wall that held back the Hudson River when the Towers collapsed - and other remaining structures at the foundation of the site where the tallest buildings in the world, a triumph of human ingenuity and aspiration once stood.

The remaining eight acres of the site will include the Freedom Tower, three other grand WTC Towers, retail development, the WTC Transportation Hub and a Performing Arts Center. The site also includes significant underground infrastructure, including PATH tracks, a chiller plant and other mechanical spaces.

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