Michael Arad, 2012
|Born||1969 (age 49–50)|
|Alma mater||Dartmouth College (BS)|
Georgia Tech (MS)
|Spouse(s)||Melanie Arad Fitzpatrick|
|Buildings||World Trade Center Memorial|
Arad, an Israeli citizen, was born in 1969 in London. London was where his father, Moshe Arad, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and Mexico, was on a diplomatic mission. Arad lived in Jerusalem for nine years. He did his military service in a Golani Brigade commando unit.
He moved to New York City in 1999 and worked as an architect at Kohn Pedersen Fox for three years. After KPF, Arad briefly worked for Leclere Associate Architects. When he submitted his design to the competition for the World Trade Center memorial, he was working for the New York City Housing Authority, designing police stations for the New York City Police Department. Arad now works for Handel Architects, which has offices in New York and San Francisco.
Unidentified human remains recovered from the World Trade Center site would be interred at the bottom of the north tower footprint at the site's deepest point, 70 feet underground. At street level, with the help of landscape architect Peter Walker, Arad proposed a cobblestone plaza with moss and grass and planted with eastern white pine trees.
"This design proposes a space that resonates with the feelings of loss and absence that were generated by the death and destruction at the World Trade Center," Arad said in the statement.
Initially criticized for the starkness of the design and failure to differentiate the civilian victims from those who died in the line of duty, Arad presented a revised version in conjunction with Walker. The high cost of the project, originally estimated at $1 billion, also sparked controversy.
'It was a very strong sense of community,' says Arad, an Israeli citizen.
Born in London, he had grown up all over the world as the son of an Israeli diplomat who was once ambassador to the United States, and has lived in New York since 1999.
Arad, who grew up in Israel, the United States and Mexico, graduated from Dartmouth after having served in the Israeli military.