Oi Manawa – Canterbury Earthquake National Memorial is a place to reflect on the 2010/2011 earthquakes that changed Christchurch, New Zealand, forever. Meaning ‘tremor or quivering of the heart’ in te reo Māori, Oi Manawa refers to the shaking of earthquake tremors, and is symbolic of the trauma that Christchurch and its people experienced.
Designed in collaboration with Slovenian architect Grega Vezjak, and delivered by GHD, the open-air structure follows Christchurch’s iconic Avon River. A park with trees and seating on the northern bank overlooks a terrace area and 80m marble-clad wall on the southern bank, which is inscribed with the names of those who lost their lives.
This project presented unique challenges, including working with a diverse range of stakeholders, and balancing the need for a quality outcome against equally important programme and budgetary constraints.
Our team also overcame the challenges involved with working close to the river and adjacent to other developing projects. To reduce construction costs and enable work within the riverbed, our team introduced a solution which allowed water to be drained in sections, leaving a dam in place to provide scour protection beneath the lower terraces of the wall.
A special project for GHD and New Zealand, Oi Manawa provides welcoming spaces that invite Christchurch locals and visitors alike to think, reflect, and remember.