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Snøhetta’s 9/11 memorial pavilion set to open

[FIRST LOOK + PLANS + PROJECT DATA] The pavilion and memorial museum at Ground Zero in New York is set to open its doors to the public next week

Designed by Snøhetta, the three-storey National September 11 Memorial Pavilion sits next to the twin reflecting pools by architect Michael Arad and landscape artist Peter Walker (AJ 17.08.11). The whole site is a tribute to the nearly 3,000 people killed in the terror attacks in 2001.

Inside the building’s central atrium stands two structural columns retrieved from the original World Trade Center towers.

Snøhetta was originally commissioned to work on the project back in 2004.

Snohetta's 9/11 Memorial Pavilion

The architect’s view

‘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. 

‘Our desire is to allow visitors to find a place that is a naturally occurring threshold between the everyday life of the city and the uniquely spiritual quality of the memorial. It is important that people physically engage with the building and feel that it helps lead them onto other areas of the site and other thoughts about their experiences there.

‘The name of the memorial plaza is “Reflecting Absence”. As visitors cross the plaza and approach the perimeter of the pools their gaze drops to watch the water cascading into the main pools, then flowing further over the second rim into the inner void. It is a physical reflection of the monumental absence created by the tragic events of September 11. By contrast, our pavilion reflects presence: the present moment, the day, the time, the weather, the trees, the surrounding buildings, and especially all the visitors present at the memorial. While they look down into the memorial fountains to contemplate and pay respect to the past, they look straight ahead and up at the Pavilion to reflect on the present and the future, bravely and with hope.’

Snohetta's 9/11 Memorial Pavilion

Project data

Location New York, USA
Type of project cultural centre 
Client National 9/11 Memorial  
Architect Snohetta
Architect of record Adamson Associates 
Structural engineer Buro Happold 
M&E engineer Buro Happold 
Completion date May 2014
Gross internal floor area 4,645m²
Specific environmental targets LEED Gold

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