The New York City AIDS Memorial organization recently announced that Community Board 2 has voted in favor of the new design for a memorial. The memorial will honor the 100,000+ New York City residents lost to AIDS and recognize the ongoing epidemic.
The design for the proposed memorial encompasses the western point of the approximately 17,000 square-foot triangle-shaped plot of land bordered by Seventh Avenue, 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue in New York City. The site, located across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, is known as the epicenter of New York City’s AIDS epidemic. The proposed memorial will provide a place for meditation and learning alongside the larger park designed by Rick Parisi of M. Paul Friedberg and Partners and constructed by Rudin Management Company as part of their redevelopment of the former hospital campus.
Brooklyn, NY architects Mateo Paiva and Esteban Erlich of studio a+i, whose entry was selected in an international competition earlier this year, are responsible for the new memorial design approved by Community Board 2. The memorial design team also includes representatives from Robert Silman Associates, structural engineering; 2×4, graphic design; and Fisher Marantz Stone, architectural lighting design.
In their presentation to Community Board 2, the design team issued the following statement: “The memorial is composed of three inter-connected elements that are inspired by the shelter provided from a dense grove of trees, and the visual impact created when trees within that canopy are lost. The elements include a planted canopy creating a sheltered area that defines the memorial space, a reflective water feature providing a focal point for meditation, and a narrative surface design of concentric rings creating an opportunity for sharing and learning.”
“This memorial design provides an amenity for the new park and the surrounding neighborhood, while also marking this uniquely important site and providing a vehicle for passing on facts and memories about the ongoing history of the AIDS crisis,” said New York City AIDS Memorial co-founders Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn in a statement.
“We’re very pleased this important project is moving forward and has received strong community support,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who brokered agreement among all stakeholders. “It has been inspiring to see how the community has come together in the creation of this historic and culturally significant memorial.”
Plans for the New York City AIDS Memorial proceed next to the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the City Planning Commission. Pending approval by both bodies, the Coalition will prepare construction documents for the memorial and raise funds for its construction and maintenance.