Powerful September 11th Memorials Around the World
Article and photos courtesy architecturaldigest.com
Architects, designers, and artists pay tribute to the victims of the attacks
By Elizabeth Stamp
A memorial is one of the most challenging and meaningful projects an architect or designer can take on. It must be solemn but hopeful, visually impactful but respectful. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, have built memorials to the victims, survivors, and first responders. These symbolic designs were often years in the making, and many have faced controversy and criticism. In honor of the 17th anniversary of 9/11, AD has gathered beautifully designed tributes from New York to Italy. Conceived by some of the world’s leading architects, artists, and landscape designers, each of these moving memorials is a powerful remembrance of one of America’s darkest days.
Photo: Yagil Henkin/Alamy
National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York City
Architect Michael Arad designed the two massive waterfalls and reflecting pools, which sit in the footprints of the Twin Towers and are inscribed with the names of the victims of the 2001 and 1993 attacks. PWP Landscape Architecture did the landscape design for the surrounding plaza, incorporating elements such as the Survivor Tree, a Callery pear that was found at Ground Zero and rehabilitated.
Photo: David Stuckel/Alamy
Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, Virginia
Age is the central thread that runs through the Julie Beckman and Keith Kaseman design. Cantilevered stainless-steel-and-granite benches—one for each of the 184 victims of the Pentagon attack—are arranged along age lines from youngest to oldest. On the western edge of the memorial, the Age Wall rises from three to 71 inches, symbolizing the range of life spans of those who were lost.
Photo: Xiaoling Keller
Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania
Paul Murdoch Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects collaborated on the tribute to the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93. The first phase of the project was dedicated on September 10, 2011, including the Memorial Plaza and walkway, the visitor’s shelter, the Wall of Names, and the hemlock grove. The visitor’s center is currently under construction and slated to open in 2015.
Photo: Henk Meijer/Alamy
Tribute in Light, New York City
The Municipal Art Society of New York and Creative Time’s installation of 88 searchlights—conceived by John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere, and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz—initially ran from March 11 through April 14, 2002, to mark the six-month anniversary of the attacks. The simple yet powerful design is re-created annually on September 11.
Photo: Clarence Holmes Photography/Alamy
The Rising, Valhalla, New York
Built to honor the residents of Westchester County who died on 9/11, the monument includes 109 stainless-steel rods ascending from a circular granite base and joined together at the top. Architect Frederic Schwartz named his design after the Bruce Springsteen song released in the aftermath of the attacks.
Photo: Anthony Pleva/Alamy
Postcards, Staten Island, New York
The first major memorial to be completed in New York City, Masayuki Sono’s poetic design consists of two soaring fiberglass structures meant to symbolize postcards to loved ones. Two hundred and seventy-five granite plaques commemorate the residents of Staten Island who died.
Empty Sky, Jersey City, New Jersey
Frederic Schwartz worked with Jessica Jamroz, an associate at his firm, on the design of the official New Jersey memorial. Two stainless-steel walls, each nearly 210 feet long—the width of each side of the World Trade Center towers—border a granite path looking across the water to Ground Zero. Inside the corridor, the walls are engraved with the names of the 749 New Jersey residents who were killed.
Photo: Travis Dove/The Boston Globe/Getty Image
Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial
Dedicated in 2008, the Boston Logan International Airport 9/11 Memorial is set on 2.5 acres and was designed by local firm Moskow Linn Architects. The site features a large glass box that contains panels inscribed with the names of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 175 and American Airlines Flight 11, which both took off from the airport.
Photo: Eitan Simanor/Getty Images
9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, Jerusalem
Artist Eliezer Weishoff designed the 9/11 Living Memorial Plaza, located 20 miles outside Jerusalem. The site includes a 30-foot-tall sculpture of an American flag that transforms into a torch at the corner. The base contains steel from the Twin Towers. The sculpture is surrounded by a circular wall with plaques listing the names of the victims.
Photo: Stuart Black/Getty Images
Memoria e Luce, Padua, Italy
Architect Daniel Libeskind devised Memoria e Luce, a tribute in the Northern Italian city of Padua. The 56-foot-tall book-shaped structure incorporates a piece of a steel beam from the World Trade Center.
Photo: Richard Radford/Getty Images
September 11 Memorial Garden, London
Set in Grosvenor Park, the September 11 Memorial Garden was dedicated in 2003 and contains three plaques paying tribute to the 67 British victims. The garden features an oak pergola and pavilion and is planted with a mix of American and British plant species such as rosemary, ivy, and phlox, each chosen for its meaning or September blooming time.