Tower of Voices (Part of Flight 93 National Memorial)

The Tower of Voices will be developed in the last major phase of work at the Flight 93 National Memorial, a new national park located in Somerset County, Pennsylvania where United Flight 93 crashed on September 11, 2001. The tower is conceived as a monumental, 93-feet tall musical instrument holding 40 wind chimes, representing the 40 passengers and crewmembers on the plane. It is intended to be a landmark memorial feature near the entrance to the park and a living memorial in sound to remember the 40 through their ongoing voices.

The tower form is conceived as an enclosure that cradles the 40 chimes and opens towards the public plaza on which it stands. The structure will be precast concrete columns with branch connectors that abstractly recall the Hemlock grove at the crash site. Openings between the structural elements allow wind to pass through to activate the chimes, anticipated as aluminum tubes from five to ten feet long. 

As a unique musical feature, the tower requires an equally unusual design process and combination of consultants, including a musician, chimes artist, acoustical engineer and wind consultants. The scale and complexity of 40 chimes, and the variability of wind directions and velocities, requires an interactive process of testing and simulation for determining a final design. A back-and-forth process encourages input from each specialization to inform interdependent decisions and testing. This requires musical tuning theory to establish the right tones, chime mock-ups for 3D recordings, computational fluid dynamic modeling to test tower shapes, wind tunnel testing to simulate site conditions and acoustic simulation in a sound lab to digitally test chime configurations in final tower volumes to create the full effect of all chimes together.

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Location: Shanksville, PA
Owner: National Park Service
Commissioned: 2016
Completion: 2018


Paul Murdoch
Milena Murdoch
Eric Cunningham
Miroslav Minkov


Architectural Products: Issue March 2019 Pg.26
An everlasting concert: Tower of Voices commemorates Flight 93 heroes
INTERVIEW: The Flight 93 National Memorial In Honor Of The Fallen On 9/11
“Tower of Voices” Inspires Healing and Contemplation in Remembrance of 9/11
DnA Tower of Voices Episode
New Tower at Flight 93 Memorial Honors 9/11 Heroes
Families, Friends Gather To Close A Chapter Of The Flight 93 Memorial
Days Before Sept. 11, Memorial To Flight 93 Dedicated In Shanksville
Flight 93 memorial architect: ‘Still work to do’
Late Hamilton College professor Samuel Pellman contributed to Tower of Voices 9/11 memorial in Shanksville
9/11 heroes honored with wind chime memorial
Forty chimes for 40 people: Flight 93 memorial dedicates the Tower of Voices
A first look at the powerful final phase of the Flight 93 memorial
Pennsylvania's 9/11 memorial is one of the first in the world to use sound as a tribute
Giving voice to their stories
A 93-Foot Tribute to United 93: The "Tower of Voices" 9/11 Memorial
President Trump Honors Towering Voices at 9/11 Flight 93 Memorial
Tower of Voices dedication planned for Sunday at Flight 93 National Memorial
Tower Gives Voice to Sept. 11 Victims
Forty chimes will ring at Flight 93 National Memorial to honor the 40 killed on 9/11
Forty chimes will ring at Flight 93 National Memorial to honor the 40 killed
9/11 memorial nears completion 17 years after terrorist attack
Conducting the Wind
Flight 93 Memorial Dedicates a Beautiful, Moving Monument (pg. 27)
Architect’s Philly roots inspired Tower of Voices memorial for United Flight 93’s heroes
Chimes give voice to Flight 93 heroes across windy memorial site near Shanksville
Flight 93 Memorial nears completion in Pennsylvania
17 years after the crash, the Flight 93 Memorial nears completion
Last piece of Flight 93 Memorial, a 93-foot tower with 40 wind chimes, nears completion
Final Installation Will Give Voice To Flight 93 National Memorial
"Tower Of Voices" Will Complete Flight 93 National Memorial
Building the Flight 93 Memorial’s Massive Chime Tower
A Tower of Voices at the Flight 93 Memorial
Students Participate in Inaugural Flight 93 Memorial Alternative Break
Inspiration behind the Tower of Voices at Flight 93 Memorial (Video)
Work begins on wind chime tower at Flight 93 tower
93-Foot-Tall “Tower of Voices” to Commemorate 9/11 Victims with Wind Chime Soundscape
'Soundbreaking' held at Flight 93 Memorial
"Soundbreaking" for Flight 93's Tower of Voices held
Tower of Voices will rise at Flight 93 memorial in Somerset County
Work Begins On Wind Chime Tower At Flight 93 Memorial
'Sound breaking' for the Tower of Voices at Flight 93 Memorial Park


2015 LEED© Gold, U.S. Green Building Council
2015 Merit Award, American Institute of Architects California Chapter
2012 Architects of Healing Honor Award, American Institute of Architects
2010 Designing for Parks Merit Award for Master Planning, National Park Service
2005 First Place from 1,100 entrants, International Competition Flight 93 Federal Advisory Commission


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