client: Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
team: Güller Güller architecture urbanism
Memorial of impressions - traces of people
Not to build on the footprints anymore in itself already makes a monument. There is no need for a more representative and symbolic gesture.
Every visitor contributes to the memory of the site. The memorial of impressions is not designed according to symbols. It represents life: it is all about people, visitors, forming an impression and a remembrance together.
The memorial plane consists of a subtly flexible surface, a rubber mat on a bed of water that locally sinks down a little bit with the presence of people. People give shape to the memorial plane with their footprints. The more they gather, the larger their impact. This impression stays visible for a short while and then vanishes from the surface, when people are moving from one spot to another. The memorial of impressions remembers: it continuously registers all its visitors.
This memorial plane that will never settle conveys a fine message; it questions the usual obviousness of our points of reference, the foundations of human existence, the values we believe in as everlasting and safe. The fluidity of the plane makes one conscious about one's being, existence, direction, about the way we're going and the way we have been going so far, and the way we're standing in life and walking through it. The memorial of impressions is a monument that encourages and invites for flexibility and fine differentiation, by accepting and asserting life. It is a monument that in itself is open, changing and ambivalent, but at the same time literally offers stable ground.
The twin towers are once again points of reference - their footprints provide the 'stable' ground. The North Tower footprint is a water basin, shining at night, quiet and cooling in summer and mysteriously steaming in winter. The South Tower footprint is a grass surface in front of the waterfall.