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World Trade Center Memorial & Museum

The World Trade Center memorial site pays tribute to the victims of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. Two 200 x 200 foot sculptural pools titled Reflecting Absence ensure that future generations will know where the towers once stood. An underground interpretive museum, lies below the surface.


The building is a steel framed structure where a majority of the steel columns are encased in concrete to resist blast loads defined by the blast consultant. Precast concrete members are used to create a walking surface at the pedestrian level and above the railroad tracks at the south-west corner of the site.

The Memorial Museum is slated for completion a year after the inauguration of the Memorial. As visitors descend the monumental concrete curved stair of the 3 story, 121,000sf Museum, they will be led to the cavernous bedrock level where the story of Ground Zero unfolds. A separate curved ramp, suspended from the structure above, creates a descending ribbon-like path through the exhibits.  Some 75 artifacts, including the glass encased “Survivor’s Stair” and the “Last Column”, the final piece of steel structure recovered from the site, will be displayed along with other major components of the destroyed World Trade Center Towers and vestiges of the recovery effort. One artifact, the “Direct Impact Column”, will be suspended from the roof.

At the base, the foundations of the original towers become accessible to the visitor.  Located at the bedrock level, the foundation slab together with light steel framing support “glass bridges” that will visually expose remnants of the original slab. The box columns of Towers One and Two were also carefully preserved and opened for observation. A deep depression cut into the bedrock was created to provide access, by means of extensive concrete ramps, to the columns and original footings exposing the side face of the old foundations.

Perhaps the most evocative element, the exposed 60 foot-high original Slurry Wall that held back the waters of the Hudson River on that fateful day, withstanding enormous lateral pressures after the collapse, still stands as the western boundary of the museum. Powerfully symbolic, it was designated a federal landmark, giving it a permanent place in history. 

Client: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Architect: Davis Brody Bond



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