A reminder, of far-off wars, and very nearly announced competitions. The Pukeahu National War Memorial Park is announcing the winners of the competition for a memorial to the French war dead, on 11 November. The entries are all on display up at the old Dominion Museum, just at the start of Peter Jackson’s WWII exhibition (go see: it is very good), but if you can’t get there, then go to this website.
Who is going to win?
The four finalists are widely differing, hugely so, and the judging process must have been difficult.

Les Fleurs Sauvages
Entrant and Design Team: Amanda Bulman and Nicolas Zilliox (bbc architects), Jake Yocum (Artist), Richard Ainsworth (Architect), Nick Denton (Architecture Graduate), and Hamish Moorhead (Moorhead Landscapes).
Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua, My past is my present is my future, I walk backwards into the future with my eyes fixed on my past. A red trench cuts into the ground, surrounded by a delicate cloak of plantings which provides the hope of regeneration. The experience is sensual, relying on perception and memory to connect the visitor to those being remembered.

Carri̬re de M̩moire РQuarry of Memory
Entrant and Design Team: Andrew Sexton Architecture ; Andrew Sexton, Sylvia Main, Cleon Ferreira-Craig, Hannah Griffin, Stephanie Roughan, Kirsty Jones. Poets Gregory O’Brien and Jenny Bornholdt, and Mark Newdick Landscape Architects.
A collection of underground quarries in France, named after New Zealand towns and cities, have offered the inspiration for a memorial which brings these place names, inscribed beneath French soil, back to the surface at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Incorporating plant species from France as well as Aotearoa/New Zealand, the site-design asserts the ongoing, living, cyclical nature of the memorial and of memory itself. Texts inscribed into the walls, link France and New Zealand and offer a lyrical reflection on past, present and future. The memorial is to be experienced in the round, and invites participation and exploration, offering a space not only for reflection upon historical events but also for contemplation of the mysteries and illuminations of individual and cultural life – those things that bind us to each other and to the natural world.

L’Arc de Paix – The Arc of Peace
Entrant and Design Team: Kingsley Baird (artist) and Adam Flowers (CCM Architects) with Professor Annette Becker (French historian) and Allen Wihongi (Maori cultural advisor) and Alistair Cattanach (Structural Engineer).
L’ Arc de Paix – The Arc of Peace memorial acknowledges the enduring friendship between New Zealand and France forged by shared experiences of war and peacekeeping and the two nations’ deep cultural affinities. Recognizably French qualities are expressed in the design, materials, and symbols. As a ‘living monument’, the experiential nature of L’Arc de Paix is enabled via visitor engagement with the memorial’s features.

Le Calligramme
Entrant and Design Team: Patterson Associates, Architect, Paul Baragwanath, Culture and Art adviser, and Suzanne Turley, landscape Architect.
A soft sound sculpture set into a table and pillar constructed from French lime stone. Described as looking at the past to understand the future, it is intended as a “gift of shared memory” to celebrate the two countries enduring collaboration and deep fraternity. The Architects describe its experience as “ephemeral language and permanent materiality combining to provoke beauty for people in a spatial, temporal and emotional engagement.”