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Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

The National September 11 Memorial Pavilion opened May 21st. Snøhetta was commissioned to design the only building on the memorial plaza at the World Trade Center site. The program has changed several times, however it has remained a cultural facility dedicated to visitor comfort and orientation. The design for the building embodies a careful reaction to the horizontal character of the memorial plaza’s design, while also providing the area with a lively organic form that allows the visitor to imagine the site and city in a broader sense.

Snøhetta’s design approach has always been characterized by an exploration of context. The WTC Memorial site carries with it both the power of its history and a new hope for the future. It is a place that conveys the memories and dreams of people around the world who are affected by its presence without forgetting its intimate connection to the people of New York. With its low, horizontal form and its uplifting geometry the Pavilion acts as a bridge between two worlds – between the Memorial and the Museum, the above and below ground, the light and dark, between collective and individual experiences. Inclined, reflective and transparent surfaces encourage people to walk up close, touch and gaze into the building.

Within the atrium there will stand two structural columns rescued from the original towers. Although removed from their former location and function, they mark the site with their own original aesthetic gesture. The Pavilion’s jewel-like, striped façade was developed in collaboration with the Client to allow the building to have a strong resonance for the visitor as well as providing visual and architectural connection to the surrounding urban environment. The flat plane of the Memorial Plaza is pierced by the glass Atrium of the Pavilion, which allows visitors to enter the below-grade Museum and bring with them sunlight from above.

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

Memorial plaza, Snøhetta, New York, US, pavilion, ground zero, world trade center, LEED, wtc

 

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