Grid is a proposal for the New York City AIDS Memorial Park Design Competition. The competition called for a new museum space to commemorate the impacts of AIDS upon New York. The site for the memorial is a triangular lot in lower Manhattan.

The defining feature of the design is a grid of crosses that covers the entire site. The crosses are aligned with Manhattan’s street grid, at once extending this grid into the site and amplifying it through a change in scale. The hit-and-miss arrangement of the crosses and their sheer number are intended to defy our comprehension.

Within the memorial the motif of the cross carries several meanings. The crosses can be seen as markers for graves, symbolising those who have died of AIDS. The crosses can also be read as addition or positive signs, symbolising those who are HIV positive and living with the virus.

The crosses are also the source of illumination within the park. During the day, they function as skylights, allowing light into the museum beneath the park. At night, the light from the museum spills out through these skylights into the park.

The movement of the sun through the sky animates the light within the museum, as the skylights trace patterns across the walls and floor. By varying the angles at which the crosses cut through the museum’s roof, the crosses create a pattern of shadows which shifts from positive to negative signs depending upon the location of the sun. The subtlety of this shift conveys the insidious, dynamic and continuing nature of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Year: 2012.