The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) announced in 2004 that international architecture firm Snøhetta will design the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center visitors center.
The 40,000-square-foot, two-story pavilion will rise at the center of the WTC’s 16 acres as its own cultural attraction and serve as the primary entry to the underground memorial and plaza. Funded through an $80 million grant from New York state, the pavilion will be home to WTC relics and exhibitions about the events of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Inside, the pavilion also will house a 160-person auditorium, café, rest areas, ticketing, security screening, and a private room for use by family members of 9/11 victims.
Architects Craig Dykers and Kjetil Thorsen unveiled their plans alongside former Governor George Pataki, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and other rebuilding officials. The architects explained that the design process was guided by the need to show deep respect for the memorial and local community. That groundedness helped determine the building's horizontal nature from the start. "It is unique in New York to find a place where we can find comfort so close to the ground," Thorsen said.
At the center of the building, a gently sloping ramp will bring visitors into the raised lobby, which will be flooded by natural light from above. The building also will connect to concourses leading directly into the WTC Transportation Hub, and an outdoor atrium will reflect natural light and air throughout the building, the entrance ramps, and the concourses.
“The pavilion will be a beacon for the millions of visitors who are expected to come to the memorial and museum,” said Memorial Foundation President Joe Daniels said. “Visitors will find this graceful building a welcoming structure that fits beautifully within the memorial plaza. The [original Twin Towers’] ‘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.”
Click here to see the latest information on Memorial and Museum construction.
Memorial construction, west of the visitors center, is underway in the WTC’s eight-acre southwest quadrant, with the first steel installed on September 1st, 2008, and first trees planted in August 2010.
Click here to View Cultural Center Schematic Design Slide Show.