NEW YORK.- At a press conference at 7 World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum today provided a design briefing for the Memorial Museum Pavilion. The Museum Pavilion, designed by the Norwegian architecture firm, Sn°hetta, and located between the two Memorial pools on the northeast quadrant of the Memorial Plaza, will be a graceful glass and steel structure that will serve as the primary entry into the Memorial Museum.
Memorial & Museum Chairman and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, The Pavilion will serve as a beautiful entryway into the Memorial & Museum. Its design is stunning with its reflective stainless steel material, glass atrium and placement of two steel tridents salvaged from the Twin Towers, and the structure will compliment well the rest of the landscape. With the steel structure of the Memorial and Museum now going up and these new designs finalized, we are seeing real progress, and we must make sure we do everything possible to see that it continues.
Memorial & Museum President Joe Daniels said, The Pavilion will be a beacon for the millions of visitors who are expected to come to the Memorial & Museum. Visitors will find this graceful building a welcoming structure that fits beautifully within the Memorial Plaza. The tridents in the atrium will remind us to think back and look forward and will complement the hundreds of trees which surround the two Memorial pools. This design creates a fitting entry to the Museum a new cultural institution, contributing to the vitality of Lower Manhattan.
Lower Manhattan Development Corporation Chairman Avi Schick said, We at the LMDC and the State are proud to fund this beautiful building that will welcome visitors to the Memorial and Museum. This architecturally impressive building will be a beautiful and respectful addition to the Memorial and Museum.
Senior Partner, Director and Co-founder of Sn°hetta, Craig Dykers said, We at Sn°hetta have strived to design a building that welcomes the many new visitors to the site as well as having an intriguing and ephemeral character for those that pass by it daily. It is discreet while also maintaining an approachable intellectual presence among the many larger structures surrounding it.
The Museum Pavilion will serve as an architectural link between the surrounding urban infrastructure of the city and the park-like character of the Memorial Plaza. Set against the tree-lined Plaza, the entrance to the National September 11 Memorial Museum provides an elegant and lively architectural complement to the former World Trade Center site.
Its dynamic, yet simple lines complement the Memorial and contribute to the character of the place as a unique and enduring destination both in the City of New York and for the world. Its angular geometry leads the visitor diagonally toward the center of the Memorial Plaza where both the south and north Memorial pools can be seen at once.
As the primary entry to the larger Museum below the Memorial Plaza, the Pavilion enables visitors to better understand the context of the Memorial and to access the interpretive exhibitions and programming that tell the story of the events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993, while allowing visitors the opportunity to bear witness to the power and authenticity of the World Trade Center site. The building is being funded through a $80 million grant from the State of New York.
Relatively modest in size, the buildings footprint is approximately 15,000 square feet and has a total area of approximately 40,000 square feet. The building varies in height from 6270 feet and is surrounded by a grove of oak trees that will mature to a height of approximately 50 feet.
The Pavilion has several important purposes. Along with its primary function of furnishing access to an integrated cultural component at the Memorial site, it also provides visitors to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum with information, general site orientation, and ticketing services for Museum exhibitions and programs, and security screening. The Pavilion will also house a 160-person auditorium space for educational programming, a cafÚ, and rest areas. In addition, a private room will be available for use by family members of 9/11 victims. The Museum Pavilion will be not only the center for information, but also a visual anchor that helps orient visitors on the Memorial Plaza and will provide dramatic views out towards the two Memorial pools.
A core component of the Pavilions identity is formed around a large glazed atrium near the center of the Memorial Plaza. The atrium allows visitors to see into the Museum where signature architectural elements from the Twin Towers will be preserved and displayed. These large steel columns, often referred to as tridents because of their trunk-like split shapes, form a harmonious architectural link to the surrounding oak trees of the Memorial Plaza. As authentic structural elements recovered from the original buildings, the two tridents placed side by side will create an immediate visual reference to the distinctive gothic arch motif of the Twin Towers. They denote a commitment to authenticity, a remembrance of what once stood at the site, and the possibility of renewal.
The atrium lobby inside the Pavilion will provide daylight for, and access to and from, the Museums lower-level lobby and public gathering space known as Memorial Hall, which in turn leads to the exhibition spaces farther below ground.
As visitors descend into the Memorial Museum, they will encounter the primary exhibition, located at bedrock within the historical footprint of the North Tower, a memorial tribute to those who perished at bedrock within the South Tower footprint, an age-appropriate exhibition, a digital resource center, as well as classrooms and informal educational programming.
In 2004, Sn°hetta, the international architecture, landscape and interiors office based in Oslo, Norway, was awarded the commission to design the above-ground museum building by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Founded by Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen, Sn°hettas largest projects include the completion of the Alexandria Library in Egypt and the Norwegian Embassy in Berlin, and the recently completed New National Opera in Oslo.
Since its formation, Sn°hetta, now with an office also in New York City, has won numerous international awards and has been represented in exhibitions around the world. Sn°hettas work has been characterized as having a presence that resonates with the surrounding context.