Sunday, September 11, 2011

My feelings about the World Trade Center Memorial Pools

source: Foster and Partners
Note: This post doesn't endorse any position in favor or against the American people. I'm just talking about the architecture.

The World Trade Center Memorial consists of two huge pools built within the footprints of the Twin Towers with the largest man-made waterfalls in the country cascading down their sides. 
Michael Arad, the architect of the Memorial Pools said: “The design strives to make visible what is absent. The primary responsibility we have is to those we lost that day.” It’s the architecture of absence.
source:Google Images

I was looking at the images of those pools and the feeling is really of absence. Something is missing. The pools should be full, that’s the purpose of pools, but they’re not. The water keeps disappearing. It gives the feeling of that something is going away, like the lives of those 3 thousand people, victims of the attack. To reinforce that idea, the names of the nearly 3,000 individuals who were killed in the September 11 attacks in New York City, and at the Pentagon, and the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing are inscribed in bronze on the edges of the Memorial Pools. 
Victims names inscribed insous bronze on the edges

And completing that sensation of absence, you have the constant waterfalls reminding the non-stop tears of the survivors who miss their relatives.

It’s amazing that the twin pools are perfect footprints of the Twin Towers.  The idea of footprint is exactly absence. When we see a footprint, we know that something or somebody was there, but it’s not anymore.         
source:Google Images
Footprints are always something left behind. 

I imagine that looking at the Twin Memorial Pools must be a very strong feeling to those who witnessed the September 11 terrorist attack and lost relatives and friends. 

Actually, all the architecture was projected based on the concept of remembering the event and the victims. Observe the photo below. Can you see? The orientation of the tower is a way of acknowledge (what in Portuguese we say “reconhecimento”) of the void left by the Twin Towers.
It looks like the new tower is looking at the place of the old ones. The position of the new tower also allows the entrance of light, in a way that the new tower doesn’t project permanent shadow on the memorial.

I’ve loved the architecture. I’ve found it intelligent, creative and touching. 

Related videos:

see also:
man-made (adjective): artificial rather than natural
to witness (verb): to see something happen, for example a crime or an accident.

by Vivian Barone
Barone English's Pedagogical Coordinator

1 comment:

  1. Barone English Hi Kaiowá Guató and Camper Rodrigo Corrêa, I agree completely with you two. My post doesn't endorse any position in favor or against the American people. I'm just talking about the architecture. I come from a family, although nobody was an architect, in which everybody, especially m my father, was fond of architecture. My father designed and built two swimming pools with cascades. I think, unconsciously, the design of the Memorial Pools, reminded my past, especially because I miss my dear father, unhappily he passed away 6 years ago. To be impartial I’ll post something about some Arabic architecture. Thanks for sharing your opinion.