Public

National September 11 Memorial



National September 11 Memorial
New York, NY

Client
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Awards
A+ Award Popular Choice | Architizer
Award of Excellence | Society of American Registered Architects
Merit Award in Cultural Category, Global Best Projects | Engineering News Record National
Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design | AIA National
Best of the Best Landscape/Hardscape/Urban Design Award | Engineering News Record National
Honor Award in General Design | The American Society of Landscape Architects
American Architecture Award | The Chicago Athenaeum
Architecture Honor Award | AIA New York City
Award of Excellence | AIA New York State
Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership | Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
Best Landscape/Hardscape Project | Engineering News Record
Best New Landmark, Parks and Public Spaces | Travel + Leisure Magazine
Coverings Installation and Design (CID) Award
Photography
Joe Woolhead
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

The design of the National September 11 Memorial was selected through an international design competition that attracted over 5,200 entrants from 63 nations. Michael Arad won the competition in 2004, and joined Handel Architects as a Partner shortly after, bringing the skills and talents of the office and its Partners to assist him in developing the project.

The Memorial site is a public space for meditation and contemplation, centered around two reflecting pools that sit in the footprints of the original World Trade Center Towers. Lining the perimeter of each fountain is a parapet of victims’ names, arranged and inscribed according to a system of “meaningful adjacencies.” The pools are clad in Jet Mist granite, and the names panels are made of bronze that has been treated with a ferric based patina. At night, the names are illuminated from within. The fountains rest within a new plaza that acts as a sacred ground for those coming to honor the victims, while also integrating the Memorial into the surrounding city.


The project's elegant simplicity conceals an incredible complexity of architectural design and engineering. The fourteen-acre WTC site will contain, in addition to the Memorial and the Museum, a Visitor Orientation Center, a new PATH train station, a Subway station, an underground retail concourse, an underground road network with security screening areas, five new office towers, and a Performing Arts Center. Most of these projects interlock physically and programmatically with the eight-acre Memorial site and have required close coordination between the various design teams.