More On WTC Memorial Design

Very little pun intended.

The LMDC and its architects released details of the latest incarnation of the World Trade Center Memorial. Salient changes/evolutions: the giant waterfall voids seem reduced in size and scale. The space for the names of those killed, which is where visitors encounter the waterfalls, is rather low, almost intimate-looking. Conversely, the lower chamber, where footings of the (North) tower columns, at least, will be visible, seems much loftier. The skylit bathtub wall--resurfaced several times since it was exposed in the debris removal process--will loom over the space.

It's an interesting (and a major) shift for Arad, who acknowledged as recently as September that "Bedrock is something that wasn't too important to me at the beginning of design."

What else: there's a wall along West Street where the road slopes down and the plaza/park elevation stays level. Remember how the West St entrances of the North Tower and the hotel were a big story below the plaza level? Same thing.

Also, with the interpretive center/artifact space on the south side, it's not clear where "memorial" begins and "center" ends. A mixed program reminds me of the Kennedy Center lobby, which happens to house a JFK Memorial, but who knew? I think/fear "memorial" in this case will be a highly programmed experience.

Renderings of the park/plaza level read as very unassuming, even conventional, while those of the memorial spaces--or the approaches to the memorial, actually, are almost exaggeratedly austere. The slate is still blank.

Memorial will preserve Twin Towers' remnants [NYT, David Dunlap]
LMDC Press Release []
Curbed totally rocks on the WTC site posts, btw []
No Lack of Rhetoric at WTC Designers' Panel [metropolismag]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: December 18, 2004.

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