03/28/2013 10:44 am ET Updated Mar 28, 2013

NYC AIDS Memorial Organizers Reveal Final a+i Design, Announce Fundraising Campaign (IMAGES)

Organizers revealed the final design of the upcoming New York City AIDS memorial Wednesday, and officially announced a campaign to raise funds for the project's Greenwich Village construction.

Final renderings of the memorial, from Brooklyn-based architecture studio a+i, show a steel canopy reaching into the air at the intersection of Greenwich Avenue and West 12th Street.

The design seeks to invite New Yorkers to reflect on the history of the AIDS epidemic.

"We did not want to do something that was enclosed," said Mateo Paiva, one of a+i's principal designers. "We wanted something that was open to the city, something that was a living memorial. We drew the triangular shape, elevated it as a canopy, and brought it down with triangle legs to minimize the impact on the ground. To further define, without enclosing the AIDS memorial, we located two benches, one along Greenwich Avenue and one along West 12th Street."

Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner will serve as the memorial's chief content curator, selecting the commemorative text to appear on the site's paved granite surfaces.

Organizers hope to raise $4 million in both private and public donations to build the memorial.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer was present at Wednesday's ceremony and announced his commitment of $1 million to go towards the site.

"For the gay community in particular this is such an exciting time with what's playing out in the Supreme Court, with what's happening across the state and across this country," Stringer said. "But there was a lot of sacrifice. A lot of people didn't get the healthcare they needed, because they felt they couldn't come out or couldn't go to the doctor, tell their parents...This is a very important project and I'm proud to be associated with it."

Check out images of the final design below:

NYC AIDS Memorial's Final Design