NEW YORK, NY — The New Jersey Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA-NJ) has recognized Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners with an Honor Award in the Built Open category for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center in New York City.
Descending nearly 70 feet into the ground at the World Trade Center site, the museum was designed to be the global focal point for presenting and preserving the history and memories of the tragic events of September 11, 2011, documenting the impact of the attacks, while exploring their enduring significance.
The subterranean museum comprises 110,000 s/f of publically accessible space and was designed to convey the enormity of the events it memorializes. Beneath a ground-level plaza begins a gently descending procession (dubbed “the Ribbon”) that guides visitors from the plaza to the bedrock level where the cut columns of the World Trade Center towers still remain. The gradual descent provides time for visitors to reconnect with the site, as its iconic features are progressively disclosed. The passage is lined with a variety of artifacts as well as remains of the tower.
The lower level of the museum contains foundations of the World Trade Center, including the original retaining wall that was built to withstand the lateral forces of landfill and river.
The decision to locate this museum at the site of the event it interprets differentiates the Memorial Museum from most other museums and provides an important link between the act of memorializing those who perished and the provision of a narrative historical account of the event. “In one hundred years from now, no one will be alive who remembers 9/11; the story has to tell itself” comments Steven M. Davis, FAIA, Partner of Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners.
The Museum was dedicated by President Barack Obama on May 15, 2014 and opened to the public on May 21, 2014.
“Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners was given the unique opportunity to put their innovative imprint on what is without question among the most important museums to be constructed in recent memory,” said Justin Mihalik, AIA, president of AIA-NJ. “With their inspired design, they will enhance the experience of countless visitors trying to reconnect with and comprehend the tragedies of September 11.”