The work presents a dramatically amplified interpretation of the stepped Poutama ‘Stairway to Heaven’ tukutuku pattern with an ambiguous evocation of lightning and chaos. An interplay of three rising and interlocking architectural figures step dramatically skywards, creating a sheltering archway structure. An elevated striving to the heavens rising from a canted bed of rubble. Selected rubble pieces are incised with casualties, dates and fragments of writings, poems, reportage and personal correspondence, also incised will be diagrams, symbols and sketches of heritage lost from the catastrophe. Adjacent, a level grassed platform interrupts the riverside path to allow for both ceremony and contemplation of the city, river, the monument and the disaster. Construction is of carbon composite, the three forty metre high elements are linked mid-span for structural efficiency*. These elements are finished in matt white suggesting purity and hope.It will also maximise the intricate shadowing effect on itself and its environs as the sun progresses during the day and will accept dramatic and varied lighting at night. Grounded on the river banks and against the vaulting Canterbury skies, a modulated and rising chord of steps ascends. Sombre yet energised, the work seeks to boldly sustain a heightened sense of articulated repose and revelation


*Team NZ’s mast is 40metres, Oracle’s is 68metres




Malcolm Walker Architects Limited ©