The 9/11 Memorial Mock-Up

  • By Anna Rothschild
  • Posted 08.25.11
  • NOVA

Bronze, granite, and water will all play a role at the 9/11 Memorial. In this short video, the memorial's architect and designer, Michael Arad, examines a small mock-up that has been assembled at the Brooklyn Navy Yard to see how the materials interact, how they hold up to the elements, and what the finished memorial will look like to visitors.

Running Time: 01:51


The 9/11 Memorial Mock-Up

Posted: August 25, 2011

MICHAEL ARAD: It's great to be here at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It's really a unique place, and unexpected. You don't think you're going to find it here in the middle of New York. It's like stepping through a time machine almost.

One of the things that was most important for me in the construction of this mock-up was to test the overall geometry of the corner of the void, to see the relationship of the names panel—this bronze wing that floats over this eight-foot-wide water table. But also to see the real materials.

Most of this mock-up is… it's built of painted plywood. But a 10-foot section of it actually is built of the real materials that we will use at the site, whether it's bronze or water or stone. And, seeing the interaction of these different materials, seeing them outdoors, seeing them on a cloudy day like today, bright sunlight, at night when we've been testing the night lighting, it's… nothing can, can substitute for that.

You can model it all day on the computer and you can draw sections and plans and investigate it, but the relationship between visitors and the memorial is such a… it's about sight and touch and feel. So, being out here is the only way to test it.


Production Credits

Video short produced and edited by
Anna Rothschild
Original footage
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2011

Image Credits

(main image: Michael Arad with mock-up)
© WGBH Educational Foundation 2011

Related Links