Project Description

Irish Hunger Memorial

New York, NY

2002

To create a memorial commemorating the Great Irish Hunger, the Battery Park City Authority selected a team consisting of 1100 Architect, landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird, and artist Brian Tolle. Located on the banks of the Hudson River, in lower Manhattan, the memorial is a meditative space where visitors can contemplate the famine and its connections to world hunger today. On a base of Irish limestone and illuminated glass, the team re-created a rugged landscape that comprises abandoned potato fields, various species of native Irish plants, and walls made of stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties. The monument’s base is inscribed with text that recounts the history of the Great Irish Hunger and that frames the tragedy within the wider context of global hunger. From the base’s west side, visitors enter and ascend through a passageway that opens into a ruined famine-era cottage from County Mayo, donated to the project and reconstructed into the memorial. The landscape cantilevers out over an illuminated stone and glass base structure, rising from street level at its southeastern corner to a height of 25 feet at its western end, where it provides visitors with views of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.

Awards

New York Association of Consulting Engineers, Engineering Excellence Award, Platinum Award, 2003

Publications

Bevan, Robert. “Out of the Ashes: The Legacy of 9/11.” The Art Newspaper, September 2011.

Quartino, Daniela Santos, ed. New York Architecture. Barcelona: Loft Publications, 2010.

Vidiella, Àlex Sánchez. The Sourcebook of Contemporary Architecture. New York: Collins Design, 2007.

Fuchigami, Masayuki. A Guide to Contemporary Architecture in America, Volume 2: Eastern USA. Tokyo: TOTO Shuppan, 2006.

Stern, Robert A.M., David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove. New York 2000. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2006.

Oriol, Anja Llorella, ed. Ultimate New York Design. Madrid: teNeues, 2006.

“The Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City, New York.” Dialogue, November 2004.

Bulthaup, Gerd, ed. Perspectives. Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag GmbH, 2004.

Davidson, Cynthia. “Irish Hunger Memorial.” Architectural Record, July 2003.

Kubiak, Meike. “Raue Landschaft.” Deutsche BauZeitschrift,May 2003.

Kay, Jane Holtz. “A Hunger for Memorials.” Landscape Architecture, March 2003.

“1100 Architect, The Irish Hunger Memorial.” Architecture and Urbanism, March 2003.

D’Arcy, David. “The Trail of Tears: Memorials Multiply.” The Art Newspaper, March 2003.

Dillon, David. “Memory of Want.” The Dallas Morning News, February 12, 2003.

Nobel, Philip. “Going Hungry.” Metropolis, November 2002.

Ryan, Zoe. “Human Nature.” Take the R Train / Van Alen Report, August 13, 2002.

Saltonstall, David. “Irish Memorial is Unveiled.” Daily News, July 17, 2002.

Gardner, James. “Irish Famine Memorial Opens.” NY Sun, July 16, 2002.

Smith, Roberta. “A Memorial Remembers the Hungry.” The New York Times, July 16, 2002.

Dunlap, David W. “New Melting Pot of Museums Downtown.” The New York Times, August 5, 2001.

Hearns, Orla. “Mayo Famine Cottage for US Memorial Site.” Western People, June 6, 2001.

Kaizen, William R. “Brian Tolle.” BOMB, Summer 2001.

“A Wee Bit of Irish Countryside for New York.” Architectural Record, May 2001.

Saul, Michael. “Irish Famine Memorial Begun.” The Daily News,March 16, 2001.

Dunlap, David W. “Memorial to the Hunger, Complete With Old Sod.” The New York Times, March 15, 2001.

PHOTOGRAPHY © PETER AARON

Irish Hunger Memorial

New York, NY

2002

To create a memorial commemorating the Great Irish Hunger, the Battery Park City Authority selected a team consisting of 1100 Architect, landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird, and artist Brian Tolle. Located on the banks of the Hudson River, in lower Manhattan, the memorial is a meditative space where visitors can contemplate the famine and its connections to world hunger today. On a base of Irish limestone and illuminated glass, the team re-created a rugged landscape that comprises abandoned potato fields, various species of native Irish plants, and walls made of stones from each of Ireland’s 32 counties. The monument’s base is inscribed with text that recounts the history of the Great Irish Hunger and that frames the tragedy within the wider context of global hunger. From the base’s west side, visitors enter and ascend through a passageway that opens into a ruined famine-era cottage from County Mayo, donated to the project and reconstructed into the memorial. The landscape cantilevers out over an illuminated stone and glass base structure, rising from street level at its southeastern corner to a height of 25 feet at its western end, where it provides visitors with views of the Hudson River, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island.

Awards

New York Association of Consulting Engineers, Engineering Excellence Award, Platinum Award, 2003

Publications

Bevan, Robert. “Out of the Ashes: The Legacy of 9/11.” The Art Newspaper, September 2011.

Quartino, Daniela Santos, ed. New York Architecture. Barcelona: Loft Publications, 2010.

Vidiella, Àlex Sánchez. The Sourcebook of Contemporary Architecture. New York: Collins Design, 2007.

Fuchigami, Masayuki. A Guide to Contemporary Architecture in America, Volume 2: Eastern USA. Tokyo: TOTO Shuppan, 2006.

Stern, Robert A.M., David Fishman, and Jacob Tilove. New York 2000. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2006.

Oriol, Anja Llorella, ed. Ultimate New York Design. Madrid: teNeues, 2006.

“The Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Park City, New York.” Dialogue, November 2004.

Bulthaup, Gerd, ed. Perspectives. Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe Verlag GmbH, 2004.

Davidson, Cynthia. “Irish Hunger Memorial.” Architectural Record, July 2003.

Kubiak, Meike. “Raue Landschaft.” Deutsche BauZeitschrift,May 2003.

Kay, Jane Holtz. “A Hunger for Memorials.” Landscape Architecture, March 2003.

“1100 Architect, The Irish Hunger Memorial.” Architecture and Urbanism, March 2003.

D’Arcy, David. “The Trail of Tears: Memorials Multiply.” The Art Newspaper, March 2003.

Dillon, David. “Memory of Want.” The Dallas Morning News, February 12, 2003.

Nobel, Philip. “Going Hungry.” Metropolis, November 2002.

Ryan, Zoe. “Human Nature.” Take the R Train / Van Alen Report, August 13, 2002.

Saltonstall, David. “Irish Memorial is Unveiled.” Daily News, July 17, 2002.

Gardner, James. “Irish Famine Memorial Opens.” NY Sun, July 16, 2002.

Smith, Roberta. “A Memorial Remembers the Hungry.” The New York Times, July 16, 2002.

Dunlap, David W. “New Melting Pot of Museums Downtown.” The New York Times, August 5, 2001.

Hearns, Orla. “Mayo Famine Cottage for US Memorial Site.” Western People, June 6, 2001.

Kaizen, William R. “Brian Tolle.” BOMB, Summer 2001.

“A Wee Bit of Irish Countryside for New York.” Architectural Record, May 2001.

Saul, Michael. “Irish Famine Memorial Begun.” The Daily News,March 16, 2001.

Dunlap, David W. “Memorial to the Hunger, Complete With Old Sod.” The New York Times, March 15, 2001.

PHOTOGRAPHY © PETER AARON