Worls Trade Center Memorial

Location: New York (USA)
Client: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC
Area: 4,7 acres (200 x 200 FT. WTC Footprint)
Year: 2003
Status: Ideas Competition

This competition received an enormous outpouring of ideas from across the globe with 13683 registrant and 5201 memorial submission from 63 nations. This competition has had the largest participation in history. Our Project: “Spiritual Reflection” was chosen with other 10 to be published on the NY Times magazine.

The designs of the memorial emphasizes the importance of the void, which opens an opportunity to take a “spiritual walk”, a tactile experience through the emotions stimulated by presence of few elements: Grass, Water, Stone and Metal recovered from the ruins of the WTC.
The layout consists of a Sacred Field, where the people are invited to journey and perceive the whole Space and the entity of it.
A green carpet of grass and trees over most of the Site brings calm and peace for what is not anymore there. There is a call to walk and experience it as a Space of Meditation, Stillness and Reconciliation.
A long sharp stream of water flanked by a bed of river stones divides diagonally the space as a virtual mirror between the Twin Footprints and is aligned with the axe of the main circulation.
This virtual mirror consists of an elevated pool where the names of loved ones cut in stone emerge from the water encouraging their touch. Feeling the water flowing through each curve of the names evokes the “pathos” keeping the spirit alive.
Below this pool is a glazed slab meant to serve as a roof for the underground memorial space dedicated to the Unidentified Remains. This space gets natural light through the above stream of water projecting shadows of the names on the tomb containing the Unidentified remains. The room underneath evokes the silence and absence and is surrounded by the memories of the victims through pictures and stories.
The footprints of the Twin Towers paved in slate become two altars, where people pray and experience the immensity of the loss. Steps along two sides let people sit, perceive the whole space and “discend” down to the bottom of the earth, to communicated, to touch, to talk with those souls lost in the soil of the WTC. On the footprints a slit with vapor emission during the day and lightened at night is conceived as a visual scar of September 11th for the whole world and becomes an emblem of eternal flame.
On the north side of the site is a wall that can be read as a “bar code” glass panel. It becomes the History Wall and carries the narration, the images, facts and dates of the towers. It is an alternate composition of frosted and clear panels extended to the whole height of the perimeter wall and lightened at night.
On the south side of the site running along the entrance ramp is the Liberty wall which is born as a mosaic of recovered elements from the World Trade Center ruins. As the remains of a crashed flight get assembled piece by piece to understand the facts, this wall will embrace all those heroes who aided in rescue, recovery and healing and will talk to many generations.