Ideas to Remember (Canterbury Earthquake Memorial)

Christchurch, New Zealand

The architectural forms of the design make abstracted reference to the tectonic forces of the earthquake and the destruction that it caused. The spaces created between these forms provide places of various sizes and qualities—suitable for individual contemplation, small group visits, and large ceremonial gatherings. While finished in a single material, the various cast surfaces of the concrete register the different materials of the buildings destroyed—both iconic and ubiquitous—and subtly acknowledge those affected by the disaster and supporting the memorial. Water is articulated as a second material, connecting the concrete interventions and meditating between the existing landscape and the built elements of the memorial. The speed ands reface condition of the water is varied as it moves through the memorial—evoking the violent destruction of the earthquake, the stillness that followed, and the quiet reflection and changed view of the world that it precipitated.