Auckland Domain Memorial

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Te Takuahi – The Hearth, Auckland Domain Memorial


Project Team:

WALA : Wraight Athfield Landscape + Architecture
Lead artist: Ross Hemera
Quantity Surveyor : AECOM
Structural & Civil Engineer : Dunning Thornton Consultants
Lighting & Electrical Engineer : eCubed Building Workshop
Illustration : Stantiall Studio
Project Status: Competition (Winner)


Project Summary

Te Takuahi – ‘The Hearth’, by Wraight Athfield Landscape + Architecture in collaboration with artist Ross Hemera, was one of five concepts submitted for the Auckland Council-led competition for a memorial within the Auckland Domain. The proposed memorial is to commemorate all in the community affected by the conflict of war, not just those directly involved. The WALA team concept was selected as winner in early 2016.

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.

Set into the grassy slopes of ‘The Close’ lawn fronting the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the new space is formed as if a swing of a toki aronui (carving chisel) has carved a circular plane within the slope of the lawn. On one side this forms a terraced crescent carved into the ground, and on the other a raised crescent, (a shaped ahu), sloping gently back toward the Museum, and Pukekaroa Hill.

The memorial creates a series of spaces for reflection, contemplation, and commemoration. Subtly shifted and sheltered from the open slope of ‘The Close’ lawn, it is a calming place to return to, to re-establish connections, whakapapa, shared memories and losses associated with the place, people and events.