About this talk

Michael Arad won the 2003 competition to design the World Trade Centre memorial over more than 5,000 other entries. Born in Israel in 1969, Arad was living in New York City on 9/11. His scheme for the memorial, which began as a personal project in the days and weeks following the World Trade Centre attacks, was based on an image of two vast voids in the Hudson river, reflecting the absence of the demolished towers. The project, which took seven years to complete and was beset by politics and conflict, opened in September 2011 to critical acclaim.

In this talk, Arad, a principle at Handel Architects, describes his ambitions for the project, his determination to protect his original vision in the face of conflicting expectations, and the challenge of winning such a high profile commission so early in his career.

Michael Arad


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