Tawa Memorial

The Wellington suburb of Tawa has a very strong community spirit, which was evident in the dedication and long-term commitment required to bring the Tawa Memorial to fruition. Intended as a memorial space that would engage the community, it recognises the 13 young men from Tawa who lost their lives in the service of the nation, both in war and in the pursuit of peace.

Sitting at the edge of the Grasslees Reserve in Tawa, adjacent to the Porirua Stream the memorial has a quiet reflective character. The ground treatment, paving and landscaping were all designed to enhance this feeling and to complement similar design elements in the neighbouring reserve.

The memorial includes a central area bordered on one side by a precast concrete wall containing commemorative plaques, and on another by a curved corten steel panel. This panel is perforated with a silhouette of Tawa Leaves, the English phrase ‘Lest We Forget’ and a commemorative Te Reo phrase developed in conjunction with local iwi. The resulting enclosure is a reflective, orienting space which is an integral part of the memorial.

There are five low rectangular precast concrete seats, intended to encourage people to sit and linger. Each seat bears the name of a campaign relevant to the memorial, and sits on a base which is boldly striped in the colours of that campaign’s medal ribbon - providing eye catching pops of colour that enliven the space.

The completed memorial has become the historical touchstone envisaged – a tranquil space of commemoration and reflection.

Project Location - Tawa, Wellington, NZ

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