Dubbed The Tower of Voices and designed by Paul Murdoch Architects, the tower will feature 40 wind chimes suspended by corbels (one for each individual lost) cast into a concrete tower. Notably, this will be the first major vertical element in an existing, expansive memorial that is almost entirely flat. The rest of the site, a bowl-like earthwork designed by Paul Murdoch Architects and Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects in 2005, is nearly three times the size of Central Park and was designed to encourage contemplation through subtle alterations and restoration of the site’s existing landscape – an old growth field and adjacent wetland. Arup is providing engineering and design consulting to simulate a 3D soundscape of the acoustic experience.
Out of all these entries, it was Paul Murdoch Architects – a California-based architecture practice who pride themselves in their poetic approach to sustainable architecture and their mission to shape new activities and experiences for people – who stood apart and won the competition. Subsequently teaming up with landscape architecture firm Nelson Byrd Woltz, Paul Murdoch’s design preserved the crash site as the central focus of the memorial, going against the creation of a monument on the site.
Architect Paul Murdoch has spent more than a decade reflecting on this question. Selected in 2005 from more than 1,000 competition entries, the design he created with his wife and business partner Milena, along with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, emphasizes subtlety over spectacle. Instead of aiming for a singular iconic form, the team designed a landscape that highlights particular qualities of the site and its history.
Eric Staudenmaier | Flight 93 National Memorial, PA. designed by: Paul Murdoch Architects
“Unusual structure, interesting graphic nature and great relationship light/shadow. Well-composed and well-scaled.”
The project team noted in its submission that the visitor center and memorial “offer a timeless tranquility appropriate for the final resting place of 40 heroes, combined with the starkness of an open, windswept landscape where one of the most courageous acts in American history occurred.”
With its emphasis on landscape, the Flight 93 National Memorial resonates with the quiet power of a great battlefield.
A memorial is one of the most challenging and meaningful projects an architect or designer can take on. It must be solemn but hopeful, visually impactful but respectful. Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, many cities, both in the U.S. and abroad, have built memorials to the victims, survivors, and first responders. These symbolic designs were often years in the making, and many have faced controversy and criticism. In honor of the 16th anniversary of 9/11, AD has gathered beautifully designed tributes from New York to Italy. Conceived by some of the world’s leading architects, artists, and landscape designers, each of these moving memorials is a powerful remembrance of one of America’s darkest days.
The office headquarters for a venture capital firm focused on clean technologies is located on Sand Hill Road in Silicon Valley, occupying some of the most expensive real estate in North America. Wood, steel and concrete finishes are used to express both the firm’s sophistication and to create a warm, understated office environment, while interior color accents embody the company’s bold entrepreneurship. Although well located for a venture firm, the site’s configuration presented several challenges.
Commercial projects from Ankrom Moisan Architects, Paul Murdoch Architects, Arch11 Inc and H&P Architects stand in the way of both the Australian buildings when the winners of the awards are announced March 28.
“This is a very hi-end and high-pressure corporate culture,” says Paul Murdoch, president of the firm. “We knew we needed to create a warm environment. We also needed to provide flexibility regarding the interior spaces. The building has to function as temporary office space for the start-ups being incubated within. And finally, we needed to accomplish this on a very tight piece of property with zoning restrictions.”
Memorial designed by Paul Murdoch, commemorating the victims of the hijacking of United Airlines flight 93, which was crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, during the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Photos depict a linear black granite walkway that directs guests to a 6,800-square-foot visitor center, where videos and exhibitions document what happened the day of the crash. A memoriam wall features photos of victims provided by their families.
Watch over 1,800 days of the construction of the Flight 93 National Memorial visitor complex in EarthCam’s latest timelapse.
The crash site itself is considered sacred ground by the victims' families, as very few human remains were recovered from the area. This Field of Honor is left open, and edged by 40 groves of 40 trees. The memorial is part of a 2200 acre (898 hectare) National Park, operated by the National Parks Service (NPS).
"Beginning with a tower of voices near the park entrance, the public will ultimately arrive at and be able to walk along the edge of the crash site, which is the focal point of what was 'a common field one day' and is now 'a field of honour forever'," said the architects.
For most, a visit to the Flight 93 National Memorial now is an emotional experience.
But when the Flight 93 Visitor Center Complex is completed this year, organizers said, meaningful context should deepen that experience, and architectural elements will help visitors absorb the breadth of what happened there.
Within the complex, at right will be a nondescript building housing the Learning Center – with multipurpose space for group discussions, education and events – and restrooms. To the left, within the memorial walls, will be the Visitor Center.
COMMERCIAL WOOD DESIGN – OFFICE: VENTURE CAPITAL OFFICE HEADQUARTERS • MENLO PARK, CALIF.
Venture Capital Office Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, by Paul Murdoch Architects, won in Commercial Wood Design: Office. The project is a two-story office building is made of prefabricated steel modules set on a concrete parking podium. The design is developed from an initial concept of Ray Kappe and the owner, and in collaboration with Living Homes as prefabricated module consultant.