The 13-member World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition jury today announced the winning memorial design, Reflecting Absence by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, who has joined the team. The design was selected from among 5,201 submissions and eight finalists. The revised design will be unveiled in a public presentation next week.
Information about the design, biographical information about the designer, and other information about the competition and jury is available at www.WTCSiteMemorial.org.
Note: The renderings, animations and descriptions do not reflect significant changes made to the design, which will be unveiled next week.
On behalf of the jury, jury chair Vartan Gregorian issued the following statement announcing the winning design:
"In April 2003, the LMDC launched an international competition to design a memorial at the World Trade Center site honoring the memory of all those killed in two terrorist attacks on the United States. The competition itself - open to anyone, anywhere in the world - affirmed the democratic spirit this nation embodies. More than 5,201 submissions were received from 63 nations - and the jury considered every one of them. In November, eight finalist designs were selected for further consideration, all of which offered powerful ways to remember what we lost. After months of deliberation and debate, we have selected a winning design from among the eight finalists: Reflecting Absence by Michael Arad and landscape design architect Peter Walker, who has joined the team.
In its powerful, yet simple articulation of the footprints of the Twin Towers, "Reflecting Absence" has made the gaping voids left by the Towers' destruction the primary symbol of loss. While these voids still remain empty and inconsolable, the surrounding plaza's design has evolved to include teeming groves of trees, traditional affirmations of life and rebirth. The result is a memorial that expresses both the incalculable loss of life and its regeneration. Not only does this memorial creatively address its mandate to preserve the footprints, recognize individual victims and provide access to bedrock, but it also wonderfully reconnects this site to the fabric of its urban community.
The winning design has evolved significantly since the eight finalists were placed on exhibit at the Winter Garden, and will evolve still over time. Over the next several days, the design will be updated to reflect several changes, and new presentation materials will be created. The new design will be unveiled in a public presentation to take place next week.
On behalf of all the jurors, we congratulate Michael Arad and Peter Walker on this winning design. We also thank the leadership of the LMDC for supporting the work of the jury and for absolutely respecting its authority and autonomy.
The jury would also like to thank the finalists, and all 5,201 competitors for taking part in this competition. Your contribution will forever serve as a monument to our shared loss."
Reflecting Absence designer Michael Arad released the following statement:
"I am very honored and overwhelmed by the news that the jury has selected my design. I hope that I will be able to honor the memory of all those who perished, and create a place where we may all grieve and find meaning.
I will do my best to rise to the enormity of the task at hand. It is with great humility that I regard the challenges that lie ahead - and it is with great hope that I will find the strength and ability to meet them."
Reflecting Absence landscape design architect Peter Walker released the following statement:
"First of all, I want to congratulate Michael for his powerful and unique concept and for including us on the team. I very much appreciate the jury's thoroughness and care, and I thank them for the opportunity to work on what will be the most important landscape of our career. Finally, I want to thank the families; working on this memorial will give us the chance to express the sympathy and admiration we feel for all those who suffered from the events of September 11th and the 1993 bombing."