’Infinite Forest’ by Brooklyn-based Studio a + i has been chosen as the winner of an international design competition to design an AIDS Memorial Park on a 17,000 sq ft triangular site next to the former St. Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village neighbourhood of New York City, which is being transformed by developer Rudin Management Corp into luxury housing. The winning design was selected from 475 entries representing more than 26 US states and 32 countries on six continents.
Jury Chair, Michael Arad of Handel Architects and Designer of The National September 11th Memorial said: “ The winning design creates a space for reflection, awareness and recognition, while acknowledging the history of the disease, of which St. Vincent’s was on the forefront, both nationally and locally. It was important that the jury’s selection should ultimately deliver a public piece that serves as both a neighbourhood park and an AIDS memorial of significance”, he added.
Arad was one of the 13-member jury panel that presided over the entries. Other members include Kurt Andersen, Novelist and Journalist; Barry Bergdoll, Professor of Architectural History at Columbia University and Chief Curator of Architecture at MoMA; Kenneth Cole, Fashion Designer and Chairman amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research; and Elizabeth Diller, Professor of Architecture at Princeton University and Founding Partner, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.
While the project has received unanimous approval by New York City’s Planning Commission with strong support from its Chair, Amanda Burden and has broad-based community support, it is not a done deal. New York City’s City Council has yet to vote on the redevelopment of the site, which will take place late February or March.