This open-ended tribute commemorates the 115 lives lost in the collapse of the CTV building during the 2011 earthquakes. Jasmax were commissioned by Ōtākaro Limited to design a place of reflection, lightness and hope, that is, an intimate space that remembers the victims lost here, as well as a site of memory for those who have lived through the rebuild.
A significant detail in the delivery of this project was the degree of consultation with the victims’ families, and the design’s responsivity to their requests. World-renowned memorial expert, Dr Jacky Bowring, consulted on the design, bridging the communication between Jasmax and joint contractors (City Care Group and J.F.C Contractors) and the families.
The tribute exists within the foundations of the former building, which has now been mostly cleared. Knowing the building’s foundations could be confronting, the site has been designed in such a way that people can enter the space, rinse their hands, and walk out across the bridge, all without touching the building’s remains.
The families expressed a desire to see youthfulness captured in the design, as so many young lives were lost here. In response, the design incorporates new cherry blossom, kowhai trees and an expansive green lawn, alongside the site’s four surviving trees. To encourage continual growth and development on the site, a perforated steel wall and plinth invites patrons to lay tributes.
The CTV memorial site will sit in the midst of Christchurch’s new residential quarter, becoming a pocket park in the evolving city. It was opened with a blessing on 21 February, 2018, on the eve of the seven-year anniversary of the earthquakes.