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World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition:
New York, New York

When the families and loved ones of the victims of September 11th gathered during the one year anniversary at Ground Zero, they formed an intimate circle with flowers in the midst of the vast scarred earth. Although the ceremony was public in nature, it had the quality of a family gathering.

In the memorial proposal, MBA created an intimate yet public space to bring people together in a setting that would embody the quality of the anniversary ceremony. The form of that space is a circular terrace surrounded by an arc of stone seating and trees. A raised stone memorial ringed with the names of the victims and topped with an eternal flame occupies the center of the circle.

The circular space shapes the center of the site and is spatially linked to the other important site elements. At the highest point of the site, the circle is like an ancient Greek theater that looks down upon the city. From inside the arc, one could look across to the entry forecourt, a miniature agora with its temple-like building to house the unidentified remains of victims. One could also view the tower footprints which express the idea of the city in form of a garden. A more private natural garden surrounding the memorial arc provides spaces for individuals to gather in quiet reflection.

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