RWA Visits 9/11 Memorial Architect
Last week students from the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance summer program had the opportunity to meet with Michael Arad, designer and architect of the 9/11 memorial. Arad was selected from among 5,000 professional architects worldwide who submitted designs for the project, one of the most competitive design projects of our time.
The students met with Arad at his office at Handel Architects in downtown Manhattan to learn about the work that went into designing the cascade pools and memorial site. Arad explained how a great deal of outreach and collaboration was done with the families who lost loved ones in 9/11, as well as the many city agencies he had to interface with in the process.
The students saw original models, drawings and pictures of the scale models of the pools that were required to ensure the details were all perfected before installing on site.
This was the first time many of the students had been to the 9/11 memorial site which opened to the public last year. Many of the students were barely old enough to really remember the tragedy itself, but as Arad explained the importance of the site for so many who lost loved ones and who took part in rescue efforts, it was clear that the students understood the significance of the site.
Licensed social worker Maureen Hornung, who has been working with RWA this summer, was one of the chaperones for the trip. “I was really glad I had the chance to learn about all the thought and time that Michael put into the memorial.
Having to create something with input from so many must have been an incredible challenge. And for so many of us who witnessed the tragedy firsthand it was a struggle to even go down to the site. But now that I have seen the cascade pools and site itself I think it is such an amazing tribute to the people of NYC and our nation who pulled together in that time of grief,” said Hornung.