Summary from Andrew Stone’s article for the NZ Herald:
Landscape architect Cathy Challinor, led the Boffa Miskell team which won a competition for the Passchendaele garden. She says a theme of remembrance underlies the project, which features plants, visual art and words and verses which pay tribute to the fallen and remind visiting New Zealanders of their homeland.
The creative garden is composed of red planks to represent the petal edges, along with a distinctive aggregate base with 846 scattered bronze inlays to acknowledge soldiers killed in the first few hours of battle, and a concrete ‘memory column’ pierced by 2700 pinholes to represent the wounded, dead and missing at day’s end. The bespoke concrete base and column are being made in Auckland by Jagas.
The plants for the garden include a swathe of flax was designed to represent family, or whanau. A sweep of rata and manuka plants will wrap round two thirds of the garden to convey the soothing and healing of spilt blood. Rata was chosen because of its connection to a Maori legend of Tawhaki, a young warrior who fell to earth and died while trying to avenge the death of his father. Manuka was picked for its medicinal qualities, as its leaves and flowers have topical and infusion uses, while its supple branches are handy as splints.
Precast concrete components for design
These photos show the process for the custom designed wet cast concrete components.
The bronze inlays are placed first, then covered with wet concrete:
The team cover the bronze inlays and complete the wet cast moulding:
The piece is lifted from the mould:
General Manager Warwick Smith checks the finish of a piece, showing some of the 846 scattered bronze inlays which acknowledge soldiers killed in the first few hours of battle:
Some of the Jagas team in the East Tamaki workshop: