By Pierre David with Sean Corriel, Jessica Kmetovic
Click these thumbnails for enlarged views of the Garden
of Lights proposal.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In this design, a garden covers the entire
memorial site, with 2,982 spaces allowing light into underground
rooms below, one for
each victim of the 1993 and 2001 attacks. The rooms are located
where the towers stood, and contain altars to each one
of the victims. The gardens, which are surrounded by glass
walls, are open from 8:46am to 10:29am daily. A different
gardener is chosen to tend to the gardens each year.
The gardener also tends an orchard between
the footprints, which contains trees that give fruit each
Pierre David lives in France and teaches
architecture. Sean Corriel is a fifth-year landscape architecture
student at Cornell University, and Jessica Kmetovic is
a fifth-year architecture student at the California College
of Arts and Crafts.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
"There was a last hour, a last minute, a last second that 2,982 stars
went dark. The instant there was this last light there was
a first light, 2,982 stars were born. A new constellation expands across
site; a new garden expands across the entire site. Time and
space slow as the lights from the constellation pass through the garden,
the earth, and create the new constellation below. Above
there is the garden, below there is a new sky and 2,982 stars.
The garden of lights links the sky above to the new sky
A glass wall surrounds this garden of lights.
When it opens everyday from 8:46am to 10:29am it is a breath,
a new rhythm for the city. The seed of the garden is the
courage of the past. A
invited from a different part of the world each year
to nurture this seed. The footprints teem with life, a prairie.
Between the footprints
the gardener raises an orchard. Each season we walk a
new path through the prairie and new seeds grow on the old
path. In September the orchard
gives fruit, the gift of life nourished by light.
the garden above and the new sky below are two rooms the
expanse of the footprints. The south room of
light is pure light
filled with all of the sky above and below. The family
moves with their tears in between lights, memory, and
life. Leading to the north room
of light is an offering path, a stream lined with roses.
They give a rose, and the floating petals bring them
into the north room of light.
A steel wall forged from the salvaged metal of the
towers occupies the length of this room. The family passes
along its thickness. On the other
side of this wall glow 1,275 lights. This is the resting
place of the unidentified remains.
Beneath the garden,
beneath the rooms of light, we are under the constellation
of 2,982 stars that shine down
on 2,982 altars. The
eight year-old daughter has hand-written the name
of her father. Her handwriting is engraved in the alabaster
of her father's altar forever.
Light shines on each engraved name for eternity.
has a map of the new constellation and they navigate
their path through the stars.
The light for those we have lost is with us, at our
hands, on our faces. In the distance, the slurry
wall accompanies the light down to reveal
bedrock. The slurry wall holds the garden, the new
and the bedrock below.
In the garden of lights we
can look down the path of each light. We see the name inscribed
in stone and
the light from the shining star. A cloud passes
over the city; it is a shadow on the garden, a sparkle
in the stars below, a glimmer on the altar, a flicker
in the soul."
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