Photo courtesy of Handel Architects
Architect Michael Arad, who witnessed the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York City firsthand, won the competition to design the World Trade Center memorial in 2004, beating out more than 5,000 other applicants. The piece, which he calls “Reflecting Absence,” preserves the footprints of the Twin Towers as recessed reflecting pools. Born in Jerusalem in 1969, Arad studied at Dartmouth University and at the Georgia Tech College of Architecture. In 2004, he became a partner at Handel Architects, where he worked on realizing his design for the memorial. Among his honors, he was one of six recipients of the Young Architects Award of the American Institute of Architects, in 2006.