Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial


The Memorial Wall forms part of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial, a space on the banks of the Otakaro/Avon River where people can reflect on the events that changed Canterbury forever. The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial has been a priority for the New Zealand Government and a key feature of the city’s regeneration.

Oi Manawa, meaning “tremor of the heart”, is a place to reflect on the 2010/2011 earthquakes that changed Greater Christchurch forever. It pays respect to those who lost their lives, those who were seriously injured and survivors. The memorial also acknowledges the shared trauma and the support received during the response and recovery that followed.

The Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial has been designed as two distinct areas either side of the gentle curve of the Otakaro/Avon River. A park space on the north bank, with trees, seating and gardens looks across the river to the sunny memorial wall area on the south bank.

The south bank area is a place of remembrance. Facing the sun, the memorial wall extends 112.6 metres along the curve of the Otakaro/Avon River. A stepped terrace with seating and maple trees separates the 3.6-metre high memorial wall from the river. The south bank area has been designed to accommodate variable river levels.

The park space on the north side of the river is an area where people can reflect, sit quietly, walk closer to the river and view the memorial wall area on the opposite bank. It has large established trees, new plantings and a curved seat along the path near the river. The park also provides a large gathering space for civic commemoration events. The Montreal Street bridge links the north bank and south bank areas.

“The experience of the memorial can be viewed as a journey. A place to remember and to find peace – a place of past and future…

credit : Grega Vezjak Architect —

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