Working Test of Michael Arad’s Sept. 11th Memorial Unveiled

Back in 2007, we told you that Michael Arad‘s September 11th Memorial, “Reflecting Absence,” had been pushed back several years. Instead of opening in late-2009, it was set to open hopefully sometime before the 10th anniversary of the attack. The rebuilding of the World Trade Center site has been plagued with delays from the very start (in that same post, we said that Daniel Libeskind‘s Freedom Tower was expected to open some time in 2010, but that’s been pushed to around 2013 now). However, it looks like there’s been some positive movement recently on Arad’s project. A small test model of the waterfall memorial has been built out in Brooklyn and was unveiled to reporters late last week (the BBC has some great video). The moving sculpture looks promising (and it actually works) and the plans are still supposedly on schedule, with building commencing soon at the WTC site, finished by spring of next year, and hopefully all running smoothly by September 2011.

“One of the things I wanted the water and the design to do is to mark this continuous sense of absence,” Arad said. “These voids, even though water falls into them…they never fill up, they always remain empty, and that was very important to me,” he added.

The waterfall-filled pools are the centerpiece of a memorial plaza that will take up half of the 16-acre site at ground zero. The pools will be surrounded by hundreds of sweetgum and white oak trees on a cobblestoned plaza; a memorial museum is being built below ground that will open about a year after the memorial.