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Seeing the light

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Daniel Libeskind's Ground Zero designs are under attack (again), this time from Eli Attia, an architect who has published a shadow study (at www. phoenixproject. info/design) that disputes the claim 'the sun will shine without shadow' on the open plaza each year on the anniversary of the attack. Attia contends that 40-99 per cent of the 'Wedge of Light'will be in shadows caused by the Millennium Hilton Hotel between 8.46am and 10.28am, the period between the time of the first plane hitting the first tower to the time when the second tower collapsed.Thus, argues Attia, 'whether by ignorance, neglect or deceit, Daniel Libeskind and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation have sought to sell the citizens of New York, America and the world a figment and a sham memorial in which the defining image and metaphor is shadow conquering the light'.

Libeskind says he is 'perplexed by the simple-mindedness' of Attia's criticism. Conceding that much of the plaza will not receive direct sunlight, Libeskind claims that the effect of the facades of the building reflecting light back in to the Plaza will form the 'Wedge of Light'.The effect is not linear, he explains, but 'about radiating light, the atmosphere of light. It's not about tricks of light but about how light behaves when you look at the sun in three-dimensional form.'That clears that up then.

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