City and Rudin Agree to Build AIDS Memorial at Triangle Park
March 15, 2012
“Infinite Forest” by studio a + i
Yesterday, the City Council and the Rudin Management Company brokered a deal that calls for the construction of a prominent AIDS memorial at Triangle Park opposite the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, the greatest symbol of the epidemic that swept New York in the 1980s. The agreement, which included several other concessions such as the Rudins’ pledge to reduce the number of luxury apartments it plans to build on the site and to fund art education in the area, will not, however, sponsor the large scale plans envisioned by the AIDS Memorial Park entries. Instead, the parties will likely move forward with M. Paul Friedberg & Partners’ original, Rudin-approved park plan, which functioned more as an open public space than a memorial.
Following the results of the grassroots campaign for a proper AIDS memorial, led by organizers Christopher Tepper and Paul Kelterborn, and yesterday’s announcement, Friedberg will instead incorporate aspects of studio a + i‘s winning proposal, “Infinite Forest“, which bounded the 16,000 square-foot park with long walls faced with slate to the exterior and mirrors on the interior to create a central contemplative room populated with slender white birch trees. It’s certain that key components of the plan, such as the underground museum, will be scrapped so as to ensure that, as City Council Speaker Christine Quinn commented, “this memorial fit seamlessly into the overall design of the park.” Despite these setbacks, Tepper and Kelterborn are proud of the coalition’s achievement and hope that the design process will continue to explore the concepts of some of the competition’s strongest entries which “will inspire and inform us as we move forward to design and build New York City’s first significant AIDS memorial.”
Triangle Park in the West Village, located across the former St. Vincent’s Hospital