The notion of participation is essential for the creation of a Living Memorial. This project focuses on the participation of visitors in the process of remembering and of shaping the Memorial environment. Participation can range from spontaneous acts to carefully planned events, constructions or plantings – from the immediate and ephemeral to something more permanent. Participation also implies cooperation, and suggests a model of flexibility – a key feature of the democratic process. The memorial design consists of the Hall of Light, Memorial Walls, and Landscape of Light:
Hall of Light: In the Hall of Light, the names of each of those to perish in the attacks on the World Trade Center are etched into the interior faces of two parallel, glass double-walls. The Hall is made entirely of glass, and light is filtered and diffused into the interior through a double wall and ceiling system, creating a peaceful, calm environment. From inside the Hall, one can view the names and details, and through them, the memorial park beyond: the Memory Walls and the 3,016 light units spread across the Memorial landscape, creating a landscape of light.
Memorial Walls: The Memorial walls emerge from the edges of the former tower footprints. Inspired by the many temporary memorials that appeared all over New York City following the September 11 attacks, the Memory Walls offer an opportunity for visitors to participate in the memorial creation, by placing or hanging objects – pictures, poems, candles, flags or other mementos – into slots and shelves in the walls.
Landscape of Light: Across the landscape of the Memorial Park are distributed 3,016 individual light units, one for each of the victims of the attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001. The lights do not represent particular individuals, but rather make physically tangible the scale of loss as a whole, experienced in the space where this loss occurred. The Landscape of Light is experienced at this level of vastness, and also at the level of the individual point of light.