Un-built: Boer War Memorial Competition

Oct 1, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer
  • Architect cloud dwellers

Our design for the Canberra Boer War Memorial design competition creates a space beneath a protective canopy offering visitors opportunities to view memorial elements, and to gather and rest on brick seating platforms.

The design has foundations in the blockhouses that are an iconic artefact of the war. The Boer soldiers found themselves entrapped between the blockhouses. The Australian soldiers and their allies found themselves confined in the towers to act as sentinels. Our design signifies a unification of these realms. A space is imagined between four blockhouses. A canopy is draped across this to encompass the realms of both Allied soldiers and the Boers. The solidity of the blockhouse is eroded leaving an empty trace, creating a unified ground plane allowing the visitor to experience both realms as a reconciled whole.

The interior of the canopy is adorned by the image of a mother and foal. The organisers wanted to recognise the role of the horse in transporting soldiers across vast distances and into battle. Also important was that the birth of the nation occurred during the Boer War. The foal signifies the Australian soldiers alongside their mother country finding their stride as a new nation’s armed forces.

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