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Garden of Light

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Garden of Lights

Garden of Lights
Pierre David with Sean Corriel, Jessica Kmetovic, Paris, France

There was a last hour, a last minute, a last second that 2,982 stars went dark. The instant there was this last light there was a first light, 2,982 stars were born. A new constellation expands across the entire site; a new garden expands across the entire site. Time and space slow as the lights from the constellation pass through the garden, through the earth, and create the new constellation below. Above there is the garden, below there is a new sky and 2,982 stars.

The garden of lights links the sky above to the new sky below.

A glass wall surrounds this garden of lights. When it opens everyday from 8:46am to 10:29am it is a breath, a new rhythm for the city. The seed of the garden is the courage of the past. A gardener is invited from a different part of the world each year to nurture this seed. The footprints teem with life, a prairie. Between the footprints the gardener raises an orchard. Each season we walk a new path through the prairie and new seeds grow on the old path. In September the orchard gives fruit, the gift of life nourished by light.

Between the garden above and the new sky below are two rooms the expanse of the footprints. The south room of light is pure light filled with all of the sky above and below. The family moves with their tears in between lights, memory, and life. Leading to the north room of light is an offering path, a stream lined with roses. They give a rose, and the floating petals bring them into the north room of light. A steel wall forged from the salvaged metal of the towers occupies the length of this room. The family passes along its thickness. On the other side of this wall glow 1,275 lights. This is the resting place of the unidentified remains.

Beneath the garden, beneath the rooms of light, we are under the constellation of 2,982 stars that shine down on 2,982 altars. The eight year-old daughter has hand-written the name of her father. Her handwriting is engraved in the alabaster of her father's altar forever. Light shines on each engraved name for eternity. Each visitor has a map of the new constellation and they navigate their path through the stars. The light for those we have lost is with us, at our hands, on our faces. In the distance, the slurry wall accompanies the light down to reveal bedrock. The slurry wall holds the garden, the new sky, and the bedrock below.

In the garden of lights we can look down the path of each light. We see the name inscribed in stone and the light from the shining star. A cloud passes over the city; it is a shadow on the garden, a sparkle in the stars below, a glimmer on the altar, a flicker in the soul.



September 11 Place

Model South

Model Section

Model Altar


North Room


Pierre David
Mr. David resides in Paris. After receiving his degree in Architecture from the Ecole d'Architecture Paris Belleville in 1991, Pierre David taught Landscape Architecture until 1998 at the Ecole Nationale Superieure du Paysage in Versailles. Since that time he has taught architecture and landscape design at various institutions in France, throughout Europe, and in the United States including Harvard University and Columbia University. In addition, he has designed gardens and houses for private clients. He currently teaches at the Ecole d'Architecture de Clermont-Ferrand and for the New York/Paris Program, administrated by Columbia University.

Sean Corriel
Sean Corriel grew up in Huntington, New York. He is a fifth-year landscape architecture student at Cornell University. Sean is currently working on an honors thesis for his undergraduate degree. Upon graduating, he plans on continuing his research in the field of design and applying it to practice. Later he plans on continuing his education in a masters program in architecture.

Jessica Kmetovic
Jessica Kmetovic resides in Oakland, CA, where she is currently a fifth-year student in the bachelor architecture program at the California College of Arts and Crafts. She attended Shape of Two Cities Program: New York/Paris at the Columbia University Graduate School of Design, fall 2002-spring 2003, and has interned at Tom Eliot Fisch and Baker Vilar Architects, among others.

Model Fabrication: Radii, Inc., Hoboken, NJ
Illustrations/animation: Screampoint 3D Systems for Real Estate, New York, NY
Engineering consultant: RFR, Paris Consulting Engineers: Henry Bardsley, Jean-Francois Blassel, Matt King
Lighting design consultant: L'Observatorie One; Concepteurs-Lumieres: Georges Berne
Landscape consultant: Nina Bassuk, Director, Urban Architecture Institute, Cornell University
Model Photography: Jock Pottle/Esto


© Sep 2001 - 04/27/04

     Translations: French Translation - Online German Translation - Online Italian Translation - Online Spanish Translation - Online Spanish Translation - Online Korean Translation - Online Portuguese Translation - Online Japanese Translation - Online Chinese Translation - Online
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