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Commemorating the Pandemic's Toll on New York City

As the city grapples with the anniversary of COVID-19's devastation, New York Magazine has asked artists and architects to translate their experiences of the lockdown into temporary installations. For their concept, Weiss/Manfredi honored the anecdotes of Dr. Reed Caldwell, an ER doctor at NYU Langone in Brooklyn, who described the early months of the pandemic as "a cold and quiet tunnel with an unreachable light at the end." Weiss/Manfredi's design consists of a dark silent tunnel between two swooping walls. Traversing the depths of the enclosure, a visitor gradually arrives at a glistening Manhattan skyline with the Statue of Liberty in the distance. "We wanted something that sneaks up on you the way COVID snuck up on us," Weiss says. "Something that would capture the sense of traveling from the known world to a horizon that's getting brighter but will be forever changed."

Weiss/Manfredi merged this reflection on experiencing the pandemic through time with a cherished collective memory, the nightly celebration of first responders and essential workers. From neighborhood stoops and windows at 7pm each evening, residents clapped, shouted, and banged pots and pans. Shapes recalling these pans adorn the interior cladding of the installation, an ode to collective resilience. Read the full story here.

March 17, 2021

"Weiss/Manfredi Evokes a Doctor’s Trip Through Despair Into Light: Part 7 of 15 proposals to help us remember the pandemic’s toll."

by Justin Davidson, additional reporting by Valeria Ricciulli