To mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 last weekend, the memorial by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker was unveiled where the Twin Towers once stood

Reflections of the past

The design ‘Reflecting Absence’ features two large voids (or squares) containing fountains and reflecting pools. The ‘voids’ are each the length of a city block, outlining the footprints of the two towers.

One of America’s most distinguished landscape architects and known for his excellence in environmental design, Walker was brought in by Arad to help to humanise his design and create a memorial space that would become a public haven.

Walker’s concept was to encompass Arad’s footprints in a field of trees to provide scale and texture, and clearings and clusters to sit beneath. In an interview with CNN, Walker said his vision for the memorial was the interworking of three metaphors: “If Arad’s voids represented loss and sadness, then the flat plane of the design would symbolize the earth, and the trees, a forest of 412 swamp white oaks, life.”

The memorial was officially opened to the public on 12 September.


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