Hardscape Solutions: A meaningful memorial

December 23, 2019 -  By
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Location: New York City
Company: PWP Landscape Architecture

When many parties are involved in a project, communication is key. There certainly were a lot of people involved in the development of the 9/11 Memorial, located in Manhattan’s financial district.

In fact, the number of agencies and individuals involved was one of the biggest challenges for PWP Landscape Architecture, the design firm that won the open design contest to develop the landscaping surrounding the twin pools that make up the memorial.

“It was families, city officials, the Port Authority, the Memorial Foundation themselves,” says Conard Lindgren, the landscape architect who oversaw construction of the memorial. “Within all of those, you had subgroups and then all of the coordination.”

According to Lindgren, the keys were staying organized and making sure the proper authorities were all being communicated with. He also says it helps that
there were so many people who were passionately involved in the project, which kept it moving forward.

Lindgren adds that it was complex to figure out how to run the lighting, coordinate security and access and get plant material that would survive in an urban environment. The trees are all swamp white oaks, with the exception of the survivor tree, which is a flowering pear. The lawn panels are a blend of fescue — rye and bluegrass — and the ground cover is small-leaf ivy.

Overview of 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

An aerial view of the pools located where the footprints of the Twin Towers were shows the lush greenery surrounding the memorial. All of the trees but one are swamp white oak. The plant material at the site is still maintained by teams from PWP.

Manhattan skyline (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

Conard Lindgren says that even though the memorial was one project, it felt more like two due to all of the various organizations and authorities involved in its development.

Construction of 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

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Overview of 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

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Overview of 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

Visitors come from all over the world to pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial, which was opened to the public in 2011.

Landscaping at 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

PWP Landscape Architecture used Vector-works design software during the design development phase of the project, which took roughly four to five years.

9/11 Memorial at night (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

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9/11 Memorial at night (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

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Names at 9/11 Memorial (Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture)

Photo courtesy of PWP Landscape Architecture

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Clara Richter

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