The tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks is marked with the memorial Reflecting Absence that is opened to the public on the site where the twin towers formerly stood. Designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, Reflecting Absence with a $500 million budget, is the most expensive public memorial ever created in US.
New York authorities held a competition to design the memorial, which became the largest design competition in history. Among 5,200 entries from 63 countries, 13-member jury decided for Arad’s idea as winning. Jury members loved the idea of the big voids, Peter Walker said. But they really disliked seven acres of stone plaza. The memorial also needed to operate as a public open space. Next to Hong Kong, that neighborhood is probably the densest neighborhood in the world.
The memorial occupies approximately half of the 16-acre World Trade Center site and features two enormous waterfalls above reflecting pools set in the footprints of the original buildings. The outside area, which opened yesterday to the families of victims, features what Michael Arad, has called a living park of swamp white oak trees whose rows are interrupted by the negative space of the tower imprints. Its design is meant to convey a spirit of hope and renewal while commemorating the victims of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and 26 February 1993.
The project includes the Memorial Plaza, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion and a transportation hub.
The Memorial Plaza is open to the public from yesterday, September 12th.