By Vivian & Xinyu
What we like about this project
The planting of grouped elms at the entrance of the park creates the memorial atmosphere which is totally different from the outside suburban environment. It grabbed visitors’ attention immediately in order to make everyone immerse. The symbolic signs along the route are composed with paved wooden paths, colored baskets, pasture fence and the memorial trees. These elements remind us that we are on a consistent track. The use of the original terrain is also a fantastic readaptation of the war memory. Starting with Hill 60, the small ups and downs offer a rich experience of walking along the wooden pathway. The crater is on a higher ground, with routing all slowly going up and then suddenly get the view of a huge crater, this design plays with visitors’ expectations and leads to a deeper reflection of this history.
And the confusions are
This project covers a large space, a more landscape way of representing the war history is to make the whole area a consistent experience or strongly guided routing in all, but this feeling only appears at the beginning (Hill 60) and the end (Bluff), parts in between are fragmented, with artworks that look like as if they were added later onto this site (if so, this act should also be clarified through design or signage). There is no specific routing between different parts, but the routing within each part is strongly suggested (Hill 60 / Double Hedges / Bluff), it feels like losing an overview (the two frontlines they’re emphasizing on) and is very much limited when experiencing one small site. Even though visitors are reminded by repeated symbolic signs, they are too distant and small for the whole area.
The design intention of the crater landscape seems to be just observation and reflection. Not so many design interventions are created there and the main activity for participants on site is passing by quickly. If the designer wants to make it a spotlight, what if setting standing or sitting platforms that invite people to stop by for a short time?