NYC Landscape Architecture Travel Series #8: National September 11 Memorial

NYC Landscape Architecture Travel Series #8: National September 11 Memorial

Visiting the eloquently designed National September 11 Memorial was a sobering and emotional experience. The almost overwhelming sense of loss is magnified by the massive reflecting pools marking the voids where the twin towers once stood. 

Designed by architect Michael Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker, the 9/11 Memorial is a site of tribute and remembrance to the nearly 3,000 lives that were killed in the September 11 terror attacks. The eight-acre quadrant features twin reflecting pools–each nearly an acre in size–that also hold the largest manmade waterfalls in North America. The names of every person who died in the 2001 attacks and 1993 WTC bombing are engraved along the edges of the Memorial reflecting pools.

A lush and minimalistic landscape design supports the architecture and pools.

Reflection of the Freedom Tower in the Museum window, which is set to open next year.

From the north pool, looking at the Museum. The names circling the pools are a reminder that this is a place of mourning, a memorial to those that lost their lives and to those as part of the first responders. 

This concludes my landscape architecture travel series around New York City. Thank you for taking the time to read, and hopefully learn about some of the city’s unique parks and urban designs! Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

NYC parks I visited:

1. High Line

2. Four Freedoms Park

3. Brooklyn Bridge Park

4. Prospect Park

5. Paley Park

6. Bryant Park

7. Central Park


  1. Great cover Jeff. Certainly a piece of Landscape Architecture that we hope can stand the test of time. The complexities of this design are intriguing. We had the opportunity to have Peter Walker come and speak at our opening lecture series at the University of Tennessee’s College of Architecture and Design. He shared with us some of the inspiration behind this design and others. Check out what he said in my article here. He was a great designer to interact with and very approachable. I hope to have my recent interview with him posted here:

  2. Thanks for sharing Cameron. Read about Mr. Walker’s visit earlier this month. It was an emotional experience being there and look forward to my next visit to when the museum is open.

  3. When does it open?

  4. Thank you Cameron – lovely piece of work

  5. Thanks Nicole.

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