GIFA Award of Merit 2017 : Delville Wood Memorial, France by Creative Axis and Mayat Hart Architects


Delville Wood Memorial

GIFA AWARD OF MERIT 2017 :  DELVILLE WOOD MEMORIAL, FRANCE

ArchitectsCreative Axis and Mayat Hart Architects


The project was commissioned to mark the centenary of the Battle of Delville Wood. This was the first major engagement between South African Allied and German armed forces with massive casualties on both sides.  The 1926 memorial by Herbert Baker was important to the identity of the new Union of South Africa, and the site became politicised during apartheid years with the addition of a new museum. The new intervention acts as a symbolic and physical journey between the two older buildings. It successfully does not compete or overshadow, but rather completes the existing. As a conceptual trench it evokes memories of the war fought through trenches and of the still scarred surrounding landscape. The sandstone trench retaining walls memorialise the names of the soldiers who lost their lives, thereby successfully commemorates the contribution and loss of all, regardless of race or rank.



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