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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

Memory Foundations in New York by Studio Daniel Libeskind

August 7th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

Article source: Studio Daniel Libeskind

Studio Daniel Libeskind’s design study was selected in February 2003 as the master site plan for the rebuilding of the World Trade Center Site. In addition to a towering spire of 1776 feet, the plan proposed a complex program which called for the construction of a memorial with waterfalls, an underground museum, a visitor center, retail space, a special transit hub and four office towers spiraling to the height of the Freedom Tower.

Images Courtesy SDL

  • Architect: Studio Daniel Libeskind
  • Name of Project: Memory Foundations
  • Location: New York, USA
  • Competition: 2002
  • Photo Credits: ©SDL, ©Silverstein Properties SPI, ©Michael Arad & Peter Walker

Images Courtesy SDL

  • Client: The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey; The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
  • Building Address: 1 Liberty Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10006
  • Building Area: 16 Acres
  • Site Program: Memorial–Reflecting Absence, Memorial Museum,Visitor Orientation and Education Center, Performing Arts Center, St Nicholas Church, WTC Transportation Hub, Public Open Space, Retail, and Class A Office Space


  • Collaborating Architects: Michael Arad and Peter Walker (Reflecting Absence), Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (Freedom Tower), Foster and Partners (Tower 2), Maki and Associates (Tower 3), Richard Rogers Partnership (Tower 4), Santiago Calatrava (Transportation Hub), Snøhetta (Visitor Orientation and Education Center), Davis Brody Bond Aedas (Memorial Museum)

Images Courtesy SDL

For more than 7 years, Studio Daniel Libeskind has been coordinating with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Foster and Partners, Maki and Associates, Richard Rogers Partnership, and Santiago Calatrava to realize Memory Foundations — a truly remarkable design that will reclaim New York’s skyline.

Images Courtesy SDL

In addition to the Freedom Tower, which was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and a world-class transportation hub designed by Santiago Calatrava, four more towers and an awe-inspiring memorial are currently under construction in Lower Manhattan.

Images Courtesy SDL

“I arrived by ship to New York as a teenager, an immigrant, and like millions of others before me, my first sight was the Statue of Liberty and the amazing skyline of Manhattan.  I have never forgotten that sight or what it stands for. This is what this project is all about.”

Images Courtesy SDL

“When I first began this project, New Yorkers were divided as to whether to keep the site of the World Trade Center empty or to fill the site completely and build upon it. I meditated many days on this seemingly impossible dichotomy. To acknowledge the terrible deaths which occurred on this site, while looking to the future with hope, seemed like two moments which could not be joined. I sought to find a solution which would bring these seemingly contradictory viewpoints into an unexpected unity. So, I went to look at the site, to stand within it, to see people walking around it, to feel its power and to listen to its voices. And this is what I heard, felt and saw.

Images Courtesy SDL

“The great slurry wall is the most dramatic element which survived the attack, an engineering wonder constructed on bedrock foundations and designed to hold back the Hudson River. The foundations withstood the unimaginable trauma of the destruction and stand as eloquent as the Constitution itself asserting the durability of Democracy and the value of individual life.

Images Courtesy Silverstein Properties SPI

“We have to be able to enter this ground while creating a quiet, meditative and spiritual space. We need to journey down, some 30 feet into the Ground Zero Memorial site, past the slurry wall, a procession with deliberation. The Memorial site remains protected from the dynamic activities of a revitalized new neighborhood.

Images Courtesy Silverstein Properties SPI

“The foundation, however, is not only the story of tragedy but also reveals the dimensions of life. The Path trains continue to traverse this ground now, as before, linking the past to the future. Of course, we need a Museum at the epicenter of Ground Zero, a museum of the event, of memory and hope. The Museum becomes one of the entrances into Ground Zero, always accessible, leading us down into a space of reflection, of meditation, a space for the Memorial itself. This Memorial will be the result of an international competition.

Images Courtesy Michael Arad & Peter Walker

“Those who were lost have become heroes. To commemorate those lost lives, I created two large public places, the Park of Heroes and the Wedge of Light. Each year on September 11th between the hours of 8:46 a.m., when the first airplane hit, and 10:28 a.m., when the second tower collapsed, the sun will shine without shadow, in perpetual tribute to altruism and courage.

Images Courtesy Silverstein Properties SPI

“We all came to see the site, more than 4 million of us, walking around it, peering through the construction wall, trying to understand that tragic vastness. So I designed two ramps, one from Liberty Street and West Street running along the great slurry wall and one from Greenwich, behind the waterfall to the southern edge of the site.

Images Courtesy Silverstein Properties SPI

“The exciting architecture of the new Lower Manhattan Rail station with a concourse linking the Path trains, the subways connected, hotels, a performing arts center, office towers, underground malls, street level shops, restaurants and cafes will create a dense and exhilarating affirmation of New York.

Images Courtesy Silverstein Properties SPI

“The sky will be home again to a towering spire of 1776 feet high, an antenna Tower with gardens.  Why gardens?  Because gardens are a constant affirmation of life. A 1776 foot skyscraper rises above its predecessors, reasserting the pre-eminence of freedom and beauty, restoring the spiritual peak to the city, creating a building that speaks of our vitality in the face of danger and our optimism in the aftermath of tragedy. Life victorious.”

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Categories: Museum, Retail facilities, Tower

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