September 11, 2011

September 11, 2011 marked the ten year anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon and Shanksville, Pa. For the first time in ten years, the general public has returned to the World Trade Center site, a day after the 9/11 Memorial had a dedicated opening for victims’ families on the anniversary.

The 9/11 Memorial consists of two enormous reflecting pools set within the original footprints of the fallen towers. The names of 2,983 victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 23, 1993 are inscribed in bronze surrounding the two pools.

The illumination of the north and south pools, with their 30-foot cascading waterfalls and surrounding bronze names parapet, was achieved by architectural lighting design firm of Fisher Marantz Stone, New York City.

The scope of the project posed many challenges, and Paul Marantz, founder and design principal, imagined in 2005 that LEDs should be used to illuminate the pools and names parapet, which is lit from within so the light shines through the names.

At that time, a linear submersible luminaire that could be placed beneath the waterfalls and offer low maintenance, proper heat dissipation, and high output did not exist. LEDs were destined to become the preferred choice for illuminating the pools as the project developed. Marantz and Winona Lighting’s Director of New Products, Ron Schimmelpfenning, began their discussions regarding what these luminaires would have to withstand and how they had to perform. Schimmelpfenning’s expertise as a custom engineer provided the solutions this project needed.

Before Winona Lighting became involved, the story began with a mock up consisting of an LED fixture enclosed in a housing to protect against moisture. Dan Euser, the fountain engineer, built a 30-foot deep testing area in his Toronto backyard. Winona Lighting, leader in custom manufacturing, was brought on board to help. The company pursued LED development and committed to providing a damp label linear LED system that would run underneath the bronze names parapet and an LED submersible luminaire with low maintenance for the twin reflecting pools. Winona’s patented CoolCore technology, part of the submersible design, was used to prevent overheating.

As you can see in the photo (right), 1500 feet of Winline Submersible 607 (272 luminaires mounted end to end beneath the waterfall), were required to illuminate both pools. As dusk falls, the pools of the Memorial, which is called “Reflecting Absence,” glow around the perimeter.

As visitors approach the pools, the 2,983 names of the victims are illuminated through the inscribed letters of each name in the surrounding bronze parapet. Mounted beneath the parapet are 314 Winline 203W Surface Linear LED luminaires in varying lengths. These fixtures have a very small profile and offer superior output. Remote mounted transformers were used to avoid high voltage in this area where people will be interacting with the structure.

Winona Lighting has also had the privilege of illuminating the outer facades of the west vent structures as well as the entry pavilion of the 9/11 Memorial Museum, scheduled to open next year.

Winona Lighting is very proud and honored to be a part of this place of remembrance today and for generations to come.