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National September 11 Memorial Museum

Davis Brody Bond

Project Name

National September 11 Memorial Museum

Project Status


Year Completed



110,000 sq. feet

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

The 9/11 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 9/11 Memorial at the World Trade Center.
Descending nearly 70 feet to the original footprint of the World Trade Center towers, its 110,000 sf 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. Confronting the physical void left at the end of the recovery process, the spaces of the museum are revealed, progressively disclosing the various elements of collective and personal memory of the event.
Given a fixed set of existing geometries at the site, we were faced with the challenge of translating them into a series of coherent spaces that are punctuated by surface, texture and volume. We chose as the space’s main narrative element 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. The “ribbon” evokes the ramp used to remove debris from the site in the aftermath of the attacks. It also offers multiple views of the slurry wall, the original retaining wall that was built to withstand the lateral forces of landfill and river, and which survived the collapse of the towers. At the end of the ribbon, the descent continues down along the Vesey Street Stair (“Survivors’ Stairs”), which were used by hundreds to escape to safety on 9/11. It ultimately leads to two exhibition spaces and Foundation Hall, the Museum’s culminating space whose sheer scale conveys a sense of the enormity of the site and reinforces awareness of the absence of what once was there.
The Museum was dedicated by President Barack Obama on May 15, 2014 and opened to the public on May 21, 2014.

-courtesy Davis Brody Bond

Project Credits
Project National September 11 Memorial Museum, New York
Client The National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center Foundation
Architect Davis Brody Bond, New York—Steven M. Davis, FAIA, and Carl F. Krebs, AIA (partners); Mark Wagner, AIA (project architect); David K. Williams, AIA, Miguel Aflalo, Tobias Armborst, Bridget Basham, Tiago Romao deBarros, O’Neil Dawson, Anna Dietzsch, Julia Doern, AIA, Bruce Dole, Fred Fulton, Floyd Gillis, Newton Kershner, AIA, Samuel Fleischmann, Richard Franklin, AIA, Theodore Frutiger, Joseph Grant, AIA, Adam Grosshans, Travis Hanks, Nathan Hoyt, FAIA, Sarah Jacoby, Bennie Johnson, Takehiko Katayama, Nicholas Ladd, AIA, Wan Leung, Patrick Casey Mahon, Andrew McGee, Sherrill Moore, Naji Moujaes, Donald Nicoulin, AIA, Nnadozie Okeke, Roman Ostrovskiy, Hideaki Ota, Dejan Papajic, Ronald Papaleo, AIA, Lorenzo Pesola, Donna Pinto, Kratama Saini, Joao Santos, Sally Shadlun, Oliver Sippl, Eugene Sparling, AIA, Stuart Traynor, Carlos Salinas Weber (team)
Structural Engineer WSP USA; Guy Nordenson and Associates, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (slurry wall)
M/E/P Engineers / Vertical Transportation Jaros, Baum & Bolles
Blast Design Weidlinger Associates
Lighting Designer Fisher Marantz Stone
Geotechnical Engineering Langan Engineering & Environmental Services; Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers (slurry wall)
Code Consulting Code Consultants
Acoustical and Vibration Design Cerami
Graphics C&G Partners
Historic Preservation Higgins Quasebarth & Partners
Security Design Arup
Sustainability Consultant Vidaris
Building Envelope and Waterproofing Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates
Specifications Construction Specifications
Cost Estimating Faithful+Gould
Contractors Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Bovis Lend Lease
Size 110,000 square feet
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