The scars left from the devastation of AIDS
on New York City are not visible. No
buildings were downed from the attack of AIDS.
Instead there are thousands of small holes where people’s lives were cut
short. In fact there are over a hundred
thousand of them throughout the city of New York. Also there are the millions of holes in the
hearts and memories of those that survived them, the family members, friends,
neighbors, and communities, those that nursed them, and the courageous activists
who refused to allow the suffering and loss to be swept under a rug, who demanded
attention, gave support and initiated action.
design works on three levels:
A below ground flexible memorial center can
work as a gallery, a theater, an auditorium for events with appropriate support
services and spaces. The materials would
be warm, simple, the spaces flexible.
The walls are cement, plaster and epoxy, the floors 1” thick industrial
The triangle carved from Seventh Avenue,
Greenwich Avenue and 12 th Street is a frenetic corner of the West Village.
The intention of this street level garden
is to provide a sheltered connection to nature, set apart from the surrounding chaos
of the city, to provide the public with a place for reflection, serenity,
meditation, and replenishment. Arched entrances
are at each of the three corners. Continual
stone seating will run along Greenwich Avenue length of the park, facing into
the green areas support contemplation and tranquility. We have in mind the very dense limestone of
Puglia, Italy, which looks and feels like petrified cream. Wide limestone slab paths run broadly to each
entrance. The third entrance at 12 th
Street and 7 th Avenue accesses to the memorial center below via a
ramp and bisects the gardens.
material we are suggesting something subtle, natural, tranquil with textures,
colors and surfaces that change seasonally and move gently in the wind. Perhaps even a field with the kind of
boulders that we see protruding up through the island of Manhattan. Stone paths that cut through the large
planted areas welcome strolling.
garden is the actual memorial. It is a
swooping brushed stainless trellis that swells upwards to five stories at the
center and reaches out over much of the park.
During the daytime the trellis dapples the light, isolates the park
visually from the neighboring buildings, allows the visitor introspection with
its embrace. At night the park is gently
illuminated and will offer a warm spiritual presence to the evening.
Across the length of the vaulted main path
hang 100,000 thin bronze tubes of various lengths
Each tube finishes in a black rubber ball
that acts as a clapper when the wind allows the tubes to sway into each,
causing a range of muffled chimes and visually presenting to the visitors of
the park what the quantity 100,000 looks like.
The memorial will be a landmark in the city, a forceful image of
remembrance, celebration and reflection.