United States Memorial at New Zealand’s Pukeahu National War Memorial Park
Architect/Designer: MPdL Studio (Monica Ponce de Leon Studio)
Design Title: New Zealand War Memorial
Client: American Battle Monuments Commission
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
Stone: Barre Grey
The establishment of the United States Memorial at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in New Zealand commemorates the strong bond formed between the two countries during World War II when over 150,000 American service personnel were stationed there. Designed by architect Monica Ponce de Leon, the memorial serves as a meaningful site for both Americans and New Zealanders to reflect on their shared history, values, and commitment to global improvement. The design emphasizes experiential remembrance, drawing inspiration from the Vietnam Memorial, with inscriptions on stone that evoke memories and emotions, fostering an enduring conversation on commemoration for future generations.
Through the use of robotic fabrication techniques, Quarra Stone achieved precise shaping and control of the stone's appearance from different vantage points, elevating the memorial to new heights. As visitors journey through the site, they find themselves enveloped in a captivating encounter, as powerful words gracefully adorn the stone's surface, shaping their own unique emotional landscape. Upon reaching the journey's culmination, the words seamlessly align, offering a breathtaking panorama that facilitates a profound comprehension and deep appreciation of the memorial's full text.
The memorial consists of five slabs of Barre Grey granite, each measuring eleven feet wide. A meticulous fabrication process involved initial vertical cuts using CNC circular saws to form the initial rugged shapes. Subsequently, an industrial robot was employed to craft the stone into precise undulating forms. Finally, the forms underwent smoothing and were engraved with carefully selected words. Through the implementation of advanced prototyping and robotic fabrication techniques, the design team achieved meticulous alignment and perspective, ensuring a deeply impactful and profound experience for all visitors.