CHCH Earthquake Memorial Garden – for the SLANT 2013 Design Competition
The Christchurch Earthquake of February 2011 left in its wake death and destruction, and is counted as one of New Zealand’s worst natural disasters in modern memory – crippled by the quake the Christchurch Cathedral has reached a juncture of re-build or build a-new. This design accepts the buildings partial destruction, & looks to the future, re-siting the Cathedral and keeping the remnants as a memorial to the 185 persons who lost their lives as a result.
Its damaged walls are reduced in height, capped & sanctified by cruciforms of bronze; with the floor stripped & returned to nature, crossed by rows of lavender as a signifier of memory (chosen for its sensory fragrance) with mirrored rows of fig trees (signifier of faith) and drifts of tussock grasses creating a cloud like outline to the site. A free flowing Rill fed from a new Font or fountainhead brings forth life-giving waters, flowing towards the newly constructed Cathedral & city whilst the boundary of the memorial is marked & lit by pole lighting (standards), keeping the site permeable & accessible to one & all, day or night.
Beyond its boundary the city rebuilds…
Awarded: 2013: Top 30 Short-listed
Design & 3D Imagery: © Jonathan Gibb 2013