When most people think about the 9/11 Memorial design, it’s the two giant waterfalls that first come to mind. But landscape architects know that the space would not be nearly as impactful without those iconic rows of gridded Swamp White Oak trees. Located atop one of the largest and “most sustainable” rooftop gardens in the world, these trees are laid out in a Modernist style to function as architectural elements that not only provide structure, but also provide a living reminder of the passage of time. While it’s nothing new to include trees as symbols of rebirth and renewal in memorial design, growing and moving such a massive number of trees into one of the densest cities in America is a remarkable feat. Filmmaker Scott Elliot hopes to capture the seven-year design and construction process of the memorial in “The Trees,” an independent documentary that’s currently crowdfunding its post-production costs. Elliot goes behind the scenes, from the seed of the design to the final unveiling, to tell the fascinating story behind the 9/11’s living memorial.
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From the description:
“Filmed over the course of five years, The Trees documents the journey of over 400 Swamp White Oaks from their temporary home in New Jersey to the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza. Through the stories of those who design, plan, and construct the Memorial, The Trees explores the evolution of one of the world’s most innovative “green” roof gardens. The film shows public reaction to this lasting, yet ever-changing memorial to the victims of the September 11th attacks. A visual meditation on seasonal changes and the possibility of rebirth, The Trees asks how we memorialize and remember.”
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