Saturday, July 2, 2011
Israeli architect designs ground zero memorial
Original Michael Arad design board submitted in the World Trade Center Memorial Design competition
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Nearly 10 years have passed since September 11th, and although from the outside Ground Zero appearsto be a big construction site, a closer look tells us that that the construction of the new World Trade Center is progressing rapidly.
Israeli architect Michael Arad, has realized a professional fantasy by being chosen among 5,000 competitors to plan the memorial site. His plan is to create the tallest tower in the United States, at an altitude of 541 meters, using three glass towers.
In addition, there will be two water pools where the original Twin Towers stood.
The new New York skyline is expected in 2016, 15 years after September 11.
Michael Arad is an Israeli-American architect who won the design competition for the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City in 2004.
Early life and education
Arad, a US citizen, was born in 1969 in London, where his father, Moshe Arad, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and Mexico, was on a diplomatic mission. Arad lived in Jerusalem for nine years. He did his military service in a Golani Brigade commando unit.
Arad received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, and a master's degree from Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture.
He moved to New York City in 1999 and worked as an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox for three years. After KPF, Arad briefly worked for Leclere Associate Architects. When he submitted his design to the competition for the World Trade Center memorial, he was working for the New York City Housing Authority, designing police stations for the New York City Police Department. Arad now works for Handel Architects, which has offices in New York and San Francisco.
World Trade Center designer
Arad was selected from 5,201 competitors as the winning designer of the World Trade Center Memorial with "Reflecting Absence" - a pair of pools set 30 feet deep in the "footprints" of the downed towers, with cascading waterfalls surrounded by the names of the dead, areas at bedrock level where the public can mourn and family members of the victims can grieve in private, a space for 9/11 relics and a "living park" at ground level meant to symbolize life and rebirth.
Ideas for design
Unidentified human remains recovered from the World Trade Center site would be interred at the bottom of the north tower footprint at the site's deepest point, 70 feet underground. At street level, with the help of landscape architect Peter Walker, Arad proposed a cobblestone plaza with moss and grass and planted with eastern white pine trees.
"This design proposes a space that resonates with the feelings of loss and absence that were generated by the death and destruction at the World Trade Center," Arad said in the statement.
Initially criticized for the starkness of the design and failure to differentiate the civilian victims from those who died in the line of duty, Arad presented a revised version in conjunction with Walker. The high cost of the project, originally estimated at $1 billion, also sparked controversy.
Today he lives in the East Village of New York City with his wife, Melanie Arad Fitzpatrick, and his children, Nathaniel and Ariel Arad.