Today, for those most closely touched, the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion opens and is dedicated at the World Trade Center site. Designed by Snohetta, the Museum is next to the massive twin pools designed by Michael Arad of Handel Architects — “Reflecting Absence.” 

The Pavilion and Museum will open to the public for the first time on May 21, 2014. Snohetta describes the transition from the pools to the Museum Pavilion:

“As visitors cross the Plaza and approach the perimeter of the pools their gaze drops to watch the water cascading into the main pools, then flowing further over the second rim into the inner void. It is a physical reflection of the monumental absence created by the tragic events of September 11.

By contrast, Snøhetta’s Pavilion reflects presence: the present moment, the day, the time, the weather, the trees, the surrounding buildings, and especially all the visitors at the Memorial. While they look down into the Memorial fountains to contemplate and pay respect to the past, they look straight ahead and up at the Pavilion to reflect on the present and the future, bravely and with hope.”
Detail of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in NYC.
Detail of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in NYC.

The Museum facade was entirely produced in Kansas City, Missouri. The surface was custom-designed and fabricated to achieve a completely unique unitized system. Striated panels alternate from reflective to muted, perforated to uniform, referencing the stars and stripes of the American Flag.

The pictures below show the process of building the Museum’s facade in its various states. The Museum opens to the public May 21 2014. Learn more about the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at its official website.