Eight World Trade Center Site Memorial Finalists Chosen

Nov. 19, 2003
Independent Jury of 13 Distinguished Individuals to Select Winner of Largest Design Competition in History

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today opened an exhibition of eight finalist designs in the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition. The designs will be on public display in the Winter Garden while an independent 13-member jury continues to deliberate. The eight designs interpret the competition guidelines, which were shaped by thousands of public comments. Required elements include delineation of the tower footprints, recognition of every individual killed in terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993 and a final resting place for unidentified remains.

The designs will be on display in the Winter Garden until the jury makes the final decision and selects a winner. In accordance with competition rules, finalists and jury members will not speak publicly about the designs or the competition until a winner has been announced.

John C. Whitehead, Chairman of the LMDC said, “When the LMDC was founded two years ago, one of our key objectives was the creation of a beautiful and fitting memorial to those who were killed on September 11th, 2001 and in the 1993 bombing.  Since then many organizations have joined the efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan and honor the victims, but no single group has toiled harder or longer than this dedicated jury. Through their tireless efforts, they have identified the best work of highly creative individuals and teams from around the globe.  Generations to come will see the final design as a time when America was attacked but not bowed and heroes were lost but not forgotten.”Kevin M. Rampe, President of the LMDC said, “Today we are one step closer to completing a final vision for a new WorldTradeCenter site. And in a short time, when the jury makes its final decision, we will once again come together and revel in our greatest accomplishment – the creation of a truly magnificent living memorial.   These eight designs, selected through the largest design competition in history, respectfully pay tribute to the thousands of friends, loved-ones, and heroes lost during the horrific attacks of September 11th and the1993 bombing at the WorldTradeCenter.  As we reflect on those we lost, we look at what will one day be the place where we go to remember them—a place that will transcend time and tell a story to future generations, a story of bravery and heroism, love and loss.”

In an excerpt from a statement, the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition Jury said, “We have been profoundly moved by the fact that people from 63 countries and many continents have submitted memorial designs, people of different faiths, ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds and beliefs.  Their participation in the memorial competition reaffirms our common humanity and is a testament to the solidarity and shared values of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, friends and families from every corner of the world. In selecting the competition finalists, our goal has been to find, within them, the elements that best embody both the letter and the spirit of the mission entrusted to us.  In these finalists, we have sought designs that represent the heights of imagination while incorporating aesthetic grace and spiritual strength.”

The eight selected finalist designs are:

  • Votives in Suspension by Norman Lee and Michael Lewis

  • Lower Waters by Bradley Campbell and Matthias Neumann

  • Passages of Light: The Memorial Cloud by Gisela Baurmann, SawadBrooks and Jonas Coersmeier
  • Suspending Memory by Joseph Karadin with Hsin-Yi Wu

  • Garden of Lights by Pierre David with Sean Corriel and Jessica Kmetovic

    Reflecting Absence: A Memorial at the WorldTradeCenter Site by Michael Arad
  • Dual Memory by Brian Strawn and Karla Sierralta

  • Inversion of Light by Toshio Sasaki

  • The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation launched the international World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition in April 2003. Guidelines for the competition were developed based on the memorial mission statement and program. The mission statement guides the creation and evolution of the memorial, while the program provides specific elements to be included within the memorial, without dictating how they should be incorporated or inhibiting creativity.   The guiding documents were developed by two separate volunteer committees, comprised of family members, residents, survivors, first responders, arts and architecture professionals and community leaders. The documents were shaped by thousands of public comments generated at public meetings in every borough, Long Island, Connecticut and New Jersey and comments were received from around the world through letters and the LMDC’s website.

    In what has become the largest design competition in history, 5,201 submissions were received from 63 nations and 49 states.   All 5,201 proposals were evaluated by a 13 member memorial jury comprised of individuals representing various points of view, including world renowned artists and architects, a family member, a Lower Manhattan resident and business owner, representatives of the Governor and Mayor, and other prominent arts and cultural professionals.

    The jury evaluated proposals in a two stage process based on how well each design expressed the mission statement and program, as set forth in the competition guidelines.

    To ensure that the members of the jury were informed of the public’s hopes and aspirations for the memorial, the LMDC organized a public outreach campaign called Public Perspectives.   The campaign included a mailing to all families of victims of the February 26, 1993 and September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, meetings at which the public could speak directly to jury members, including a large scale public forum held on May 28, 2003, and smaller meetings with the LMDC Advisory Councils, and targeted outreach initiatives to Lower Manhattan community groups and organizations, which ensured that all residents, businesses, workers and survivors were involved with the process. A compilation of all the comments received was delivered to each of the jurors.     

    During the first stage of the competition, members of the jury reviewed the submissions anonymously.  During the second stage, finalists were given a stipend to develop their design proposals further. The jury, which has the sole responsibility for selecting a memorial, is expected to announce a winner by the end of the year.

    The finalists’ designs, animations, bios and all relevant information about the World Trade Center Memorial Competition can be viewed at www.WTCSiteMemorial.org and www.LowerManhattan.info.

    The competition and exhibition are made possible by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded by a Community Development Block Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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