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Project Rebirth
15,000 SF gross area
Shortly after 9/11, James Whitaker, then the President of Imagine Entertainment, founded Project Rebirth.  His mission was to create a time-lapse documentary of the reconstruction of Ground Zero combined with the voices of survivors, interviewed every year for the following decade.  
In 2003, prior to the Memorial Competition, H2 Architects was approached to articulate a vision for a future theater to ideally be located at the site and dedicated to showing the film documentation.
Without any other directive, H2 created a narrative of a typical viewer in order to create the architecture that would best prepare and convey the emotions and experience of the film.
H2 decided to submerge the theatre and create a sunken courtyard with a waterfall/reflecting pool as a contemplative space from which to enter and exit the theatre.
The film would be projected onto six screens, representing each of the six cameras used around the site to create the footage.  Viewers walk around the space during the 10 minute film.  Ambient lighting was created via a continuous skylight ring creating diffuse light and recessed floor lights at the perimeter of the room.  Materials were spare and reduced as not to distract from the impact of the film.
H2 Architect’s proposal was officially presented to the LMDC (Lower Manhattan Development Corporation) and Project Rebirth was one of fifteen entities, of approximately one hundred twenty-five, shortlisted to be located at the World Trade Center site.
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