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"A Visible Negative Space"


Oliver Söhngen, Freelance Designer

Good evening my name is Oliver Söhngen. I am an immigrant from Germany. I have been living in the United States for twelve years.

I have been tinkering with a design for a memorial in the few weeks since the catastrophe happened. I also want to offer my condolences on the behalf of other countries, like Germany. We are very moved by all that has happened.

I have thought that the Twin Towers were very important for the world and for New Yorkers. I really thought that there was a need to rebuild in the beginning, and I thought that a memorial should be not an afterthought of the development at the World Trade Center site, but it should be organically integrated into the development that's happening.

My idea, as a freelance designer, that the corporate office towers should be free of development and should be sacred space. Second of all, I thought it would be a good idea not to rebuild the towers themselves, but maybe recreate them as a visible negative space with surrounding buildings.

There would be three buildings surrounding the side that would frame the space such that from a very right angle, the towers would be absolutely visible. At night, that space could be lit, and all you would see are those towers.

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Gotham Gazette is published by Citizens Union Foundation and is made possible by support from the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Altman Foundation,the Fund for the City of New York and donors to Citizens Union Foundation. Please consider supporting Citizens Union Foundation's public education programs. Critical early support to Gotham Gazette was provided by the Charles H. Revson Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

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