Plans for the New York City AIDS memorial honoring the city’s 100,000+ men, women and children who have succumbed to the disease in the last thirty years have been reimagined with a more streamlined design. Brooklyn architecture studio a+i originally covered their design with English ivy, Virginia creeper and honeysuckle, but took the wishes of the community into account and put the kibosh on the greens. The new plant-less plan means that the memorial would be able to maintain a beautiful aesthetic all year-round.
The canopy roof of the design now features a dip in the middle for distinctive views of the O’Toole Building, which now serves as a medical complex and round-the-clock emergency room. “The initial design was very heavy,” said architect and member of the Public Design Commission James Stewart Polshek to The New York Times. Polshek was part of the unanimous decision to eliminate the plants and allow for the structural elements to become lighter and thinner.
According to The New York Times, the memorial and associated educational programs will cost about $4 million — $2.5 million of which sponsors are looking to raise from the public and $1.5 million privately. Borough president Scott M. Stringer pledged $1 million of city financing towards the project.
The memorial will be located at the intersection of West 12th Street and Greenwich Avenue, a block away from the LGBT Community Center. The final design, set to be completed by 2015, will be Manhattan’s first AIDS memorial structure serving as a place to remember, reflect and inspire action through AIDS educational programming.