A Manhattan AIDS Memorial Grows in Brooklyn

A plot just under half an acre—next to the former site of St. Vincent’s, the Greenwich Village hospital that was New York’s ground zero for the AIDS epidemic—is set to become a memorial to the disease’s victims. A design competition attracted 475 entries from around the world, the winner of which was Downtown Brooklyn-based Studio a+i, whose design places white birch trees within an enclosure of mirrored walls, creating an “infinite forest.” “We created a space that conveys a sense of solemn respect, remembrance and loss, without resorting to symbolism around a date, image, or names,” principal Mateo Paiva wrote in a statement. (Many of the entries incorporated the iconic red ribbon.) “The AIDS Memorial Park can be all things to all people: the children playing in the bounds of the mirrored forest, the weary commuter seeking a respite in the midst of the city, and those visitors coming in memory of their loss.” But the site’s developer—disregarding the prestigious competition, which featured WTC memorial architect Michael Arad as a judge—has announced its own plans for a more generic memorial. Boo. Consider us on Team a+i!

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