Michael Arad

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Michael Arad
Michael Arad, 2012
Born1969 (age 54–55)
London, United Kingdom
Alma materDartmouth College (BS)
Georgia Institute of Technology (MS)
SpouseMelanie Arad Fitzpatrick
PracticeHandel Architects
BuildingsWorld Trade Center Memorial
Original Michael Arad design board submitted in the World Trade Center Memorial Design competition

Michael Arad (Hebrew: מיכאל ארד) is an Israeli-American architect who is best known for being the designer of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. He won the competition to design the memorial in 2004.

Early life and education[edit]

Arad, an Israeli citizen,[1] was born in 1969 in London.[2] 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.[3]

Arad received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, and a master's degree from Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Architecture.[4][5]


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.[3]

World Trade Center designer[edit]

Ideas for design[edit]

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.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Arad resides in Douglaston, Queens, New York with his wife, Melanie Arad Fitzpatrick, and his children, Nathaniel, Ariel and Daniella.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hagan, Joe (14 May 2006). "The Breaking of Michael Arad". New York (magazine). Retrieved 3 September 2011. 'It was a very strong sense of community,' says Arad, an Israeli citizen.
  2. ^ Loos, Ted (1 September 2011). "Architect and 9/11 Memorial Both Evolved Over the Years". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 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.
  3. ^ a b c The politics of remembering Ground Zero – Haaretz – Israel News
  4. ^ "Architect for World Trade Center memorial to speak at Dartmouth Convocation 2004". Dartmouth News. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 3 September 2011. Arad, who grew up in Israel, the United States and Mexico, graduated from Dartmouth after having served in the Israeli military.
  5. ^ Link-Wills, Kimberly (Spring 2004). "His World Has Changed" (PDF). TechTopics. Georgia Tech Alumni Association. p. 25. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  6. ^ "World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition:Reflecting Absence: Biography/Credits". World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition. Retrieved 3 September 2011.