30 Jan 2017

The architect who designed the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial hopes it will become a place of solace and a popular spot for people to spend time.

Finishing touches are currently being put on the memorial, which sits on the stretch of the Otākaro/Avon River between Montreal St and Rhododendron Island.

Grega Vezjak

Grega Vezjak

Slovenian Grega Vezjak’s design for the memorial was chosen from more than 330 entries submitted during the Call for Ideas to Remember international design search.

Mr Vezjak’s design featured a curved marble wall and a riverside walkway on the south bank of the memorial site and a smaller memorial garden on the north bank.

The curved marble wall, which is more than 100 metres long, has the names of the 185 people killed in the February 2011 earthquake inscribed on it.

Words of acknowledgement on the wall outline how Christchurch was impacted by the magnitude 6.3 earthquake and give thanks for the huge international rescue and recovery response that followed.

Since his design plans were chosen in May 2015, Mr Vezjak has worked closely with the memorial project team, families who lost loved ones in the earthquake, and some of those of who were seriously injured to further develop his design.

Mr Vezjak will be travelling to Christchurch to attend the official dedication of the memorial at midday on Wednesday, February 22 – the sixth anniversary of the deadly earthquake - and is excited to see how his plans have been brought to life.

“It is always special and a magical experience when you see your ideas materialising,’’ says Mr Vezjak.

An accomplished architect in his home country, Mr Vezjak has always been interested in memorials and says he decided to enter Call for Ideas to Remember because he was moved by the tragic events that occurred in Christchurch.

The 35-year-old ranks designing the memorial as the biggest accomplishment of his career so far and says the project means a lot to him – both professionally and personally.

He hopes people visiting the memorial will take the time to reflect on the impact the earthquake had on people’s lives and on New Zealand.

“I also hope that it will become a popular place to spend time or just walk through,’’ Mr Vezjak says.

Links to EQ Memorial page and Facebook page to be added in.

Find out more about the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

An artist's impression of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.

An artist's impression of the Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial.