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The National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center

New York, New York

Client: The National September 11 Memorial & Museum
Architect: Davis Brody Bond Aedas
Exhibit Designer: Thinc Design
Completion: 2014

The National September 11 Memorial Museum was conceived as the global focal point for presenting and preserving the history and memories of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of the attacks and exploring their enduring significance. The Museum is located beneath the National September 11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.

Descending nearly 70 feet to the original footprint of the World Trade Center towers, its 110,000 square-foot interior gives visitors access to the monumental underground site where remnants of the Trade Center’s construction and recovery frame the story of the terrorist attacks and the days that followed. As the space’s main narrative element, DBB chose a gently descending procession (dubbed “the Ribbon”) that guides visitors from the plaza to the bedrock level where the cut columns of the World Trade Center towers are revealed.

Visitors proceed from the abundant daylight of the plaza level pavilion down to the compressed and darkened entry lobby and finally to the Museum. The journey continues ever downward, past remnants of the towers and rescuers, reminders of the victims, all the way to the bedrock of the tower foundations. Carefully designed lighting supports way finding through the Museum and provides dramatic emphasis to both artifact and architecture, memory and loss.

  • 2012 IALD Award of Excellence
  • 2012 IESNY Lumen of Excellence
  • 2012 IES Illumination Award of Merit