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Rebuilding NYC - The Eight Memorial Finalists
Gotham Gazette Gotham Gazette

Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Citizens Union

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Rebuilding NYC














Lower Waters

By Bradley Campbell and Matthias Neumann

 

Click these thumbnails for enlarged views of the Lower Waters proposal.

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The Eight Memorial Finalists

Votives in Suspension
Inversion of Light
Garden of Lights
Suspending Memory
Lower Waters
Dual Memory
Passages of Light
Reflecting Absence

To discuss the eight plans,
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In this design, an inclined park covers the memorial site. On the site of the North Tower, a pool of water sits on top of a granite memorial building. In this building, the names of the victims and a private area for their families are located below ground level, surrounded by thick walls.

Where the South Tower stood, there is a lowered plaza with benches and trees. Also in this plaza is the glass façade of the Museum of September 11.

Bradley Campbell is a working artist living in Brooklyn. Matthias Neumann, who also lives in Brooklyn, was born in Germany and grained as an architect in Germany, Canada, and Italy.

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Finalist Statement

Water and light symbolize life, rejuvenation and rebirth. By using water and light as key elements of the design and by bringing people directly to the site of the attacks, we hope that visitors will remember not only the loss of life but also the sanctity of life that we live each day. These elements point to the passing of time, and speak to us of emotion and transcendence. The site is designed to provide a place in this city and within each of us where we may find peace in experiencing the challenging, often painful cycle of death, grief, rebirth and life.

Our physical movement throughout the site, the inclined park and the various levels of memorial and museum, represents our emotional movement through the experiences of memory, grief, discovery, hope, and rebirth. We descend to the memorial spaces, the literal and figurative centers, and to the Museum of September 11. Our contact with the names of the victims, their final resting place, the original slurry wall, and bedrock level of the World Trade Center causes us to contemplate the profound loss suffered on September 11 and to be grateful for the many that were saved. As we ascend, we come back to the city and ourselves transformed by the emotional and historic magnitude of that day.

Materials have been carefully chosen to support the concept, symbolism and emotion of the memorial. The memorial space of the North Tower is clad in black granite - solemn, strong, stable - a reference to living memory and to the foundation of the towers. The private area for families of the victims and the intimate area for the public are made of thick walls of earth, to suggest comfort and stability at the depths. The façade of the Museum of September 11 in the South Tower Footprint is stacked glass with sanded edges referring to both the construction and collapse of the towers.

The design meets the daunting challenge of unifying the various site characteristics, the breadth of emotional and historical significance, and the community's many requirements. It is important that the site fulfill two major roles in the complex program of this memorial. First, it is a place of peace, reflection and reverence where we engage ourselves emotionally and spiritually. Second, it addresses the need for an intellectual understanding and historical perspective of the events of September 11, 2001. These are the dual roles of, and the overlap between, the Memorial and the Museum of September 11, 2001.

 

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