Winning September 11 Memorial Design Already Undergoing Change

Michael Arad's creation of two cascading pools standing in the World Trade Center's footprints was about the most minimal of entries in the competition for a September 11 memorial. The jury found it conveyed unimaginable loss and rebirth. But a day after hearing that Arad and landscape architect Peter Walker would present a significantly revised version of the "Reflecting Absence" design next week. Some wondered how much of the original design would emerge.

Arad is a 31-year-old Israeli native who has designed police stations for the city. He was reportedly at Walker's firm in San Francisco Wednesday, working on a revised memorial design.

Walker, who Arad brought onto his team during the eight-month contest, is expected to make many additions, including adding green space and landscaping to the plaza surrounding the reflecting pools.

The 13-member memorial jury had asked for changes in Arad's original design. Some examples: The final memorial design is expected to incorporate the surviving foundation of the trade center, an important element in Daniel Libeskind's overall site plan. Arad's original plan did not.

The prominent architect Richard Meier, who did not enter the memorial contest, said it was unusual for a jury to ask for changes in the midst of a competition. He also worried that too many people would become involved in reshaping the design.

"I hope it doesn't come out looking like a camel," Meier said.

The memorial will serve to remember the nearly 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the six victims of the 1993 bombing at the trade center.