Michael Arad, 2012
|Born||1969 (age 47â€“48)
London, United Kingdom
|Spouse(s)||Melanie Arad Fitzpatrick|
|Buildings||World Trade Center Memorial|
I believe that people are fundamentally are decent. And, yes, you will have people that sometimes will misbehave.
As architects we are often involved in the concrete-steel-and-glass aspect of it, but cities are social structures, and to be involved in imagining the future of cities and the type of relationships and the types of places that we're making is something that intrigues me very much.
When I started this project, I was a young architect. I was very apprehensive about any changes to the design. Whether I wanted to or not, I learned that you can accept some changes to its form without compromising its intent. But it's a leap of faith that I didn't want to make initially – to put it mildly.
It sounds really over the top to say you're responsible for the city of New York, but I do feel responsibility to the city of New York, to this country, to people everywhere. So many people were affected by the events of September 11, and I feel this is one of the ways that that event will be understood and defined.
I hope for the experience of people standing together, turning their backs to the city and facing this, and hearing the leaves rustle. Well, maybe it won't be as bucolic as at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, but I know you will feel removed from the city.
I pushed the process forward by saying, 'We should do this, this, and this right now. Please find the budget for me to find a structural engineer, a mechanical engineer, a civil engineer, so we can do the preliminary work.'
I really appreciate artists of the 20th century, and I can see a lot of their influence on my work, but to suggest that my design only fits within an 'ism' kind of bothers me.
There are bound to be differences in any artistic collaboration with landscape elements, or theater, of lighting elements.
New York was a place I wanted to live and work all along. If I wasn't going to live in Israel, I had to live in New York.
No rendering can really simulate the way the light bounces off the bronze panel. From some angles, it's almost a mirror, and from others it's a matte surface.
I have no choice but to fight them every step of the way. I can't tell you how many other stupid ideas have been proposed over the last two years.
How do you design it so that people can form a space of their own, and feel quiet and contemplative?
You can just never desist. You have to always push back, whatever the pressures put on you.
When I was in the Army, the unit I served in, you could never stop. It was a volunteer unit, and there was a fairly high rate of attrition. The people who stayed through are the people who were either great at it or the people who just didn't know how to stop. And I fell into that second category.
I'm a little more measured. That sense of urgency I thought accompanied things – it can take a little longer. You have to take the long view.
I built a series of supporters that had my back. I never abused that trust. You can't cry wolf. You have to solve most problems yourself.
For two years nobody talked about anything other than the name arrangement. There was no fund-raising and no progress being made on construction and design.
I think my desire to imagine a future for this site came out of trying to come to terms with the emotions that day aroused.