The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation chose eight finalists for the World Trade Center memorial out of a pool of 5,201 submissions last Wednesday. According to an LMDC press release, the finalists will remain on display in the Winter Garden of the World Financial Center until later this year, when a 13 person jury is scheduled to select a winner.
Many of the memorial proposals made extensive use of motives such as light and water to symbolize life and rebirth, as did two of the finalists, which were designed by Cornell alumni and a current undergraduate student.
Joseph Karadin ’97 and Hsin-Yu Wu ’97 designed “Suspending Memory,” while Sean Corriel ’04 served on the team of three which submitted “Garden of Lights.”
According to the design competition’s web site, the “Suspending Memory” proposal features two gardens where the WTC towers stood, each of which rises above ground level. The gardens are supported by columns for each victim of the attacks.
Furthermore, Ground Zero is filled with a pool of water to represent “the collective tears shed by millions around the world.”
In contrast, “Garden of Lights” focuses below ground. The design proposes two subterranean rooms under each footprint of the towers, the lower of which features 2,982 altars, illuminated by overhead lights, on which family members are to hand-write the victims’ names.
Above this space are two rooms of light, one of which contains an “offering path,” or a stream with floating rose petals, to which visitors can contribute their own rose. The proposal also includes a surface-level garden, which is to be maintained by a different gardener from around the world every year.
Corriel worked on the proposal with a team in Paris as part of a study abroad program sponsored by Columbia University. Also on the team are Pierre David, a faculty member at the