Strawn + Sierralta selected as one of eight finalists in the largest architecture and design competition ever held.


5,201 design proposals were received from 49 states and 63 countries for Phase 1 of the two phase competition. Each proposal was mounted on a 30" X 40" board and shipped to NYC. There were so many entries that if they were all lined up side by side, they would have stretched almost 2.5 miles. A 13-member jury spent 6 months reviewing every single entry, eventually narrowing down to 250 projects and then to 8 finalists. Phase 2 contenders were given 3 months to refine their projects before presenting them to the jury in Lower Manhattan.

We have been profoundly moved by the fact that people from 63 countries and many continents have submitted memorial designs, people of different faiths, ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds and beliefs. In selecting the competition finalists, our goal has been to find, within them, the elements that best embody both the letter and the spirit of the mission entrusted to us. In these finalists, we have sought designs that represent the heights of imagination while incorporating aesthetic grace and spiritual strength.

When the LMDC was founded two years ago, one of our key objectives was the creation of a beautiful and fitting memorial to those who were killed on September 11th, 2001 and in the 1993 bombing. Since then many organizations have joined the efforts to rebuild Lower Manhattan and honor the victims, but no single group has toiled harder or longer than this dedicated jury. Through their tireless efforts, they have identified the best work of highly creative individuals and teams from around the globe. Generations to come will see the final design as a time when America was attacked but not bowed and heroes were lost but not forgotten.


The competition brief shares the mission statement and guiding principles created with extensive input from the Families Advisory Council and community forums.

Entries to the competition were evaluated with these ideals by the 13-member jury composed of Paula Grant Berry, Susan K. Freedman, Patricia Harris, Maya Lin, Michael McKeon, Julie Menin, Enrique Norten, Martin Puryear, Nancy Rosen, Lowery Stokes Sims, Michael Van Valkenburgh, and James E. Young. 



Designs revealed on November 19, 2003.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's John C. Whitehead, (Chairman) and Kevin Rampe (President) announce the 8 finalists and display signature images of their designs during a press conference at the World Financial Center.

Dual Memory Brian Strawn & Karla Sierralta, Chicago IL
Garden of Lights Pierre David w/ Sean Corriel, Jessica Kmetovic, Paris, France
Inversion of Light Toshio Sasaki, Brooklyn, NY
Lower Waters Bradley Campbell & Matthias Neumann, Brooklyn, NY
Passages of Light: Memorial Cloud Baurmann, Brooks, Coersmeier, New York, NY
Reflecting Absence Michael Arad, New York, NY
Suspending Memory Joseph Karadin & Hsin-Yi Wu, New York, NY
Votives in Suspension Norman Lee & Michael Lewis, Houston, TX


An exhibit of the 8 finalists goes on display at the World Financial Center, across from the World Trade Center site.

Models, videos and images of each project were displayed adjacent to the design proposals for the World Trade Center Master Plan, which had recently been awarded to Studio Daniel Libeskind. Other finalists for that competition included Foster and Partners, Meier/Eisenman/Gwathmey/Holl, SOM/SANAA, Peterson/Littenburg, THINK Team (with Shigeru Ban) and United Architects. 

Learn more about the 9/11 MEMORIAL

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