Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

New York Buzz: Memorializing 9/11 ; Designs Unveiled This Week Aim to Capture Emotional Response to Terror Tragedy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

New York Buzz: Memorializing 9/11 ; Designs Unveiled This Week Aim to Capture Emotional Response to Terror Tragedy

Article excerpt

New York is moving closer to resolving one of its most heartfelt yet contentious issues: the design for the memorial to the 9/11 victims.

The eight finalists, participants in a global competition, are all concepts that incorporate powerful symbols - light, water, stone, and plants - into their designs. Each concept uses the symbols differently to meet the basic goal of recognition for each victim, delineation of the footprints of the twin towers, and a private space for victims' families.

But a jury evaluating some 5,200 entries from 63 countries and 49 states also looked for concepts that represented strength, imagination, and grace. "I think there are features that strike emotive responses on the part of any thinking person, any feeling person," says Frederic Bell, executive director of the American Institute of Architecture's New York chapter.

From the ethereal field of lights representing each victim in the design entitled "Votives in Suspension," to the slowly changing images on glass-backed waterfalls of "Dual Memory," the plans each incorporate public and private memories, while representing the resiliency andstrength of New York City.

The simple, geometric exterior of Votives in Suspension, designed by NormanLee and Michael Lewis, is intended to evoke a sense of absence and meditation. The enclosed sanctuaries located in thefootprints of the towers will be austere and minimal, with a line of sunlight coming in from the perimeter of the footprints. Each individual will be honored by a light suspended in midair at a height corresponding to his or her age.

Dual Memory, by Brian Strawn and Karla Sierralta, uses water and earth in a memorial that combines the solemnity of the tragic events with a feeling of movement toward the future. The design includes a floating panel of water that surrounds an enclosed pavilion and 2,982 "portals of light" projecting upward and downward. …

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