Carillon and Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, Wellington
The National War Memorial commemorates all New Zealanders who have served and given their lives in wars and conflicts throughout the world, including the two World Wars. The Memorial is made up of two buildings: the Carillon tower, opened in 1932, and the Hall of Memories, completed in 1964.
Studio Pacific was commissioned in 2002 to restore the historic building fabric of and around both the Carillon and the Hall of Memories building. This included repairs to the historic balconies, steel windows and patent glazing skylights. The surrounding paving, steps, balustrades and landscaping were also upgraded.
This refurbishment also provided a setting for the newly created Tomb of the Unknown Warrior. Designed by sculptor Kingsley Baird, the Tomb contains the unidentified remains of a New Zealand soldier who died in France during World War I. His tomb thus functions as a symbol of remembrance for all New Zealanders killed in war. The design is inspired by the stars of the Southern cross, which guide the warrior home. Black granite with white crosses depicts the night sky and the warrior’s companions, who fell in battle. A cloak of bronze, decorated with pounamu (greenstone) crosses representing the national flag, lies over the tomb as a protective mantle.
Studio Pacific’s design for the forecourt allows for the many complex and subtle protocols around the Tomb to be carried out with ease and dignity. Considerations included the visibility of the Tomb from the main pedestrian paths, disabled access to the Tomb, the provision of water for washing hands near to the site of the Tomb and the creation of spaces for people to gather around the Tomb and reflect. The Unknown Warrior was interred in the new tomb on the 11th of November 2004.
Client: Ministry for Culture and Heritage