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Auckland Domain WW1 Centenary Memorial

PRESS STATEMENT: Auckland Domain WW1 Centenary Memorial

The Auckland Council Governing Body has today resolved to continue with the design and delivery of Te Takuahi – The Hearth. We are delighted by this decision.

The Auckland Council competition brief called for “The proposed commemorative and contemplative feature or place (that) is to memorialise all in the community whose lives were affected by conflict, and not just the direct participants. The feature is to be an exception to the normal concept of war memorials and to express the more personal and emotive impacts of conflict, and to World War One in particular with its very significant loss of life.”

Our proposal, Te Takuahi – The Hearth, was conceived by Auckland based Wraight Athfield Landscape Architecture (WALA) in association with artist Ross Hemera.

Te Takuahi is the “hearth” through which ahi kā ‘keeping the home fires burning’ is manifest. This theme is relevant and will resonate with many, but particularly to those people who have ‘stayed behind’ and suffered the hardships and losses associated with conflicts from across varying eras and cultures. As a place strongly grounded in the land and place of the Auckland Domain, with clear linkages to Auckland War Memorial Museum, and the hills of Pukekawa and Pukekaroa this memorial will have particular associations and memories for the people of Tāmaki-makau-rau/ Auckland City. However, it is universal in form, welcoming and open for all people to interact with in different ways - from personal reflection, group interaction, performance or ceremony, to casual everyday use.

Earlier this year we were unable to continue with the project due to a fundamental change in the project brief. WALA did not walk away from the project of delivering Te Takuahi, the design we submitted in response to the original design competition brief. We were invited to draw an alternative design that we felt was in conflict to Te Takuahi – The Hearth and the existing Domain environment. On that basis, we respectfully declined.

We welcome the opportunity to re-commence the design development and delivery of this significant and meaningful project that creates a contemplative ‘stimulus to reflection’ about the effects of conflict on the wider community, and not solely on military service.

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