When Dan Euser, a landscape architect from Community Christian Reformed Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario, first heard about the 9/11 Memorial project in New York City seven years ago, he didn’t want anything to do with it. But God had different plans.
Euser, owner of Dan Euser Waterarchitecture Inc., has designed more than 1,000 water features for public spaces around the world and was invited to work with the team of landscape architects whose design was chosen as the winning entry for the memorial out of 5,200 submissions.
9/11 Memorial Reflection Pools mark the exact locations of the former World Trade Center twin towers.
Euser said his immediate concern with the design was sustainability. The memorial’s two reflection pools are part of an 8-acre site where the World Trade Center towers once stood. Each pool is approximately 1 acre in size.
“That’s an incredible amount of water,” Euser said, adding that a typical waterfall of this scale would behave and sound similar to a small version of Niagara Falls.
Using a full-scale model in his backyard, Euser was able to design a finer water effect, to cut down on noise levels, and to use less than one-tenth of water that was originally needed.
“The end result is an elegant visual that resembles a veil of tears and is extremely efficient,” said Euser.
While the project was intense with a lot of pressure from many different interest groups, Euser said it was an honor to be involved in something that is helping to bring healing where there has been so much hurt.
“Water has so many connotations of cleansing, refreshing, and bringing new growth. The water has taken on a life of its own, animated by the sun and wind. There’s life there again,” he said.