Liebeskind’s design best for ground zero

The events of Sept. 11 have left an emotional impact on the world that is comparable to some of the biggest trials in history.

Although we may never heal from that grim September morning, we have had time to mend our wounds and begin the long process of transforming the most powerful city in the world emotionally and structurally. Possibly one of the most lucrative commissions to date, the architectural form that will stand where the twin towers once did has been chosen by members of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Architect Daniel Liebeskind’s deconstructivist proposal considers structural beauty and remembrance and is far superior to the other designs in the competition.

Liebeskind’s design fit like a hand in a glove from the beginning. Compassion and desire were evident in Liebeskind’s voice as he explained each component of his design, a facet that was absent from the other designers. The New York Times quoted the magazine Slate who said Mr. Libeskind is “an aggressive promoter,” who “promoted himself and his scheme more fragrantly than any other World Trade Center finalist.” The memorial was an initial concern for Liebeskind. Although the entirety of the memorial will be designed through a separate competition, Libeskind considered the victims and their families primary in his design. The inspiration for the 70-foot procession area was stimulated as he visited the site where the towers burned to ash. The most striking detail of the memorial space is that on every Sept. 11 between the minutes of 8:46 a.m. and 10:28 a.m. the angle of the structures are placed so intricately that no shadow will fall over the space remembering the times between the impact of the first plane and collapse of the second tower.

The biggest debate in this competition rises not from the aesthetic view of the future structure. What must be considered more closely is the memory and tribute left to the 2,800 victims of the attack. Deliberation should not be focused in the skyline alone but the emotion felt when looking at the skyline or standing in the space where thousands of people lost loved ones. Liebeskind’s biggest competition, the THINK team of New York, attempted to replace the towers with almost exact replicas of what used to be. Two towers of similar size and shape were too poignant to even look at. The transparent shape that emulated a skeleton as many critics have compared it seemed to replace what was already there. As a city we must move on and grow from the past, not recreate it.

Daniel Liebeskind has provided a design and a beginning that will inspire a city and country innocently traumatized by hate to transform and cultivate into the vivacious place it once was. The transformation will not only affect urban life but also the emotion in the hearts and souls of every person who lived through that day.

Memory Foundations, as it will be called, will be a surreal place of mourning and remembrance. It will be a forward looking structure that will be the stepping stone for future avant garde designs in this city and others. The beauty and grace of this design go far beyond aesthetics but also reaches into the hearts of every person that had the unfortunate opportunity of living and witnessing the day that darkens our history.

What is architecture and how can steel and reinforced concrete stir up the emotion that has been spoken about in the debates to find the perfect design for the World Trade Center site?

Like fine art and poetry, architecture is an emotion and a feeling that speaks much louder than the placement of a window or angle of a roof. When the structure is complete there will be a spirit in and around the former World Trade Center site that will allow New Yorkers to take a step forward and revive New York and its people. In 1928 Karel Teige made a statement about architecture that has an uncanny parallel to the future developments in New York provided by Daniel Liebeskind. He said, “Men who try to create new architecture, a free architecture for a free people, anticipate the creation of a new social order.”