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great war memorial


landscape design


le quesnoy, france

'koru-mangopare' great war memorial

le quesnoy, france

During the Great War of 1914-1918 New Zealand with a population of just under 1.1

million people committed 100,000 men to defend the Empire. After fighting as a

brigade alongside the Australians at Gallipoli, the New Zealanders were sent to the Western Front to fight as a Colonial Division in the British Expeditionary Force from April 1916 to November 1918. For the last 100 days of the War, as the British 3rd Army swept across France, the New Zealanders led 49 of the 56 miles covered and were awarded six Victoria Crosses during that period. The last battle for the New Zealanders was that of Le Quesnoy at the cost of 137 Kiwi lives. Seven days later the Armistice was signed. At Le Quesnoy we can celebrate the victory of liberating a fortified town; a victory the present day residents still recall and celebrate.


The proposed memorial was to be practical robust and timeless. An intervention in the

landscape (in this case in the location where the ANZAC commemorations take place

each year) can often provide the most powerful responses. The proposal used two Maori motifs; the Koru, symbolising new life, growth, rebirth and a deep connection to the earth and the Mangopare symbolising natural abundance, strength and determination. These motifs are used to define separate areas on the rampart that played a key role in the battle. The southern area uses the existing memorial cenotaph and sets up a formal space based on the protocols of the commemoration ceremony. This space is the most public of areas for group events and commemoration.


Beyond this a Chapel of Commemoration will be formed with 137 black oxide concrete

panels, starting from ground level and rising up to 3m above ground level. At the same

time, the ground will slope down to 2m below ground level, symbolising the journey to the grave.







wwbsnz ltd


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The scale and intimacy of the space created are intended to create a sense of respect and reverence for the men who fell. To the northern end, a Garden of Remembrance with raised ‘memory beds’ based on the shape of the Mangopare. Made out of concrete, historical photos of the ANZACs will be embossed on the surface to immerse visitors in the memory of the generation who participated.

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