Responding to an invited competition, aA and Vancouver artist Kenneth Lum designed a national memorial where dignitaries, surviving family and visitors can enact public and personal rituals of commemoration, reflection and contemplation. A roofed cloister defines the southern edge of the site, with bronze panels bearing the names of the fallen. A colonnade along the west and north buffers the memorial from local streets. The panels and pillars provide screened views to an interior courtyard, paved with figural pathways that evoke labyrinths intended for walking meditation.
A bronze bell rests on a ceremonial platform extending from the northeast corner of the courtyard, directing the visitor’s gaze eastward over a wooded ravine to the capital building. The poetic organization of space makes palpable a sense of solemnity that is intimately experienced and inspires reflection upon lives given in the act of service.