Honor Through Design | The 9/11 Memorial’s Stunning, Reflective Design
Out of chaos and terror, one of the most enduring symbols of America’s freedom, honor and values was born. The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum is a stunning work of art and design, crafted with care and remembrance as a lasting reflection of courage and heroism in the face of unspeakable tragedy.
The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum sits on approximately half of the sixteen acres where the World Trade Center once stood, on Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan. Flanked on its four sides by 1 WTC, 2 WTC, 3 WTC, 4 WTC and Liberty Park, the 9/11 Memorial exists to provide a solemn reminder of the past, a way to honor lives lost in the present, and sustainable, green design for the future.
The 9/11 Memorial’s design was crafted by Michael Arad (architect) and Peter Walker (landscape architect), and chosen out of a pool of over 5,200 entries from designers in 63 nations. Arad and Walker’s design was chosen for its careful blend of sustainable green design, aesthetic beauty, and its capability to properly display and honor the names of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
The National 9/11 Memorial is a wonder of sustainable, green design, and remains one of the finest eco-friendly public spaces in the world today. The Memorial Glade, flanked by swamp white oak trees, is a stunning area for reflection and contemplation. The grounds are also sustained by state-of-the-art storm water collection and irrigation systems. From the official 9/11 Memorial website:
Rainwater will be collected in storage tanks below the plaza surface. A majority of the daily and monthly irrigation requirements will be met by the harvested water.
The project is pursuing the Gold certification in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for New Construction program. LEED is a third party certification program for green building, design and construction. The plaza is also built to meet requirements of New York State Executive Order 111 and the WTC Sustainable Design Guidelines, which both promote environment-friendly practices.
The Memorial is perhaps most notable for its massive waterfalls and reflecting pools, each sitting in the footprints of the original World Trade Center buildings. The twin reflecting pools sit at the base of the largest man-made waterfalls in North America, and each spans nearly an acre.
Those familiar with history will remember the “precursor” 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, and the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum’s designers were careful to include the victims of that tragedy in their remembrances. The names of all those lost in the 1993 WTC attack, the 2001 World Trade Center bombing, the attacks in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon are listed in enduring inscriptions on bronze panels around the edges of the two memorial pools.
Perhaps the most poignant natural feature of the 9/11 Memorial is the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree that survived at the site of the 9/11/2001 attack. After being rehabilitated by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, the Survivor Tree was re-planted at the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, where it stands as a living monument to endurance, life and resolve.
The National 9/11 Memorial and Museum is dependent on your tax-deductible donations. Please consider a donation, a sponsorship of a paver or cobblestone, or any amount you are able to give so that this stunning example of honor and remembrance in design lives on for future generations to visit.