Profile of Michael Arad
Michael Arad's design for the World Trade Center memorial was selected in January 2004 after a high-profile competition that drew 5,201 submissions from 63 countries. Arad's design, "Reflecting Absence," features two reflecting pools set 30 feet deep in the footprints of the twin towers, with cascading waterfalls surrounded by the names of those who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993.
Arad grew up in Israel, the United States and Mexico, and has lived in New York City since 1999. One of the youngest to be involved with the rebuilding of Ground Zero, Arad is now a partner at the Manhattan firm Handel Architects. He previously worked at Kohn Pedersen Fox and the New York City Housing Authority. Arad said that his own experience of witnessing the events of 9/11 and bonding with other New Yorkers in the immediate aftermath shaped his design for the memorial.
I could not imagine three years ago what the difficulties of this process would be. I'm a fairly young architect, and a project like this would be a challenge to anybody. And I think the only thing that has guided me over the past three years is a belief in the project, and a conviction that what I have to do is advocate for the design, and try and move the project forward as best as I can. — Michael Arad