Korean War Memorial
Article by Ryan Malcolm
by Prof. Blair Kuys
In July 2017, the Centre for Design Innovation was commissioned to design and oversee development of a Korean War memorial to be erected in Footscray’s Quarry Park, overlooking the Melbourne Skyline. A range of designs were conceptualised, while extensive research on existing memorials in Korea was completed in order to shape what would become the centrepiece of Korean war history in Melbourne.
With three designs reaching the final stage, including a stone metropolis design with Hibiscus flower-shaped perforated iron intended for the placement of traditional poppies, acting as a coming together of two culturally significant flowers; a replica of the mountainous Gapyeong region, the site of the famous battle of Kapyong which utilised traditional stone from the area to act as a point of reflection for visitors, and a curved bridge design paying homage to the South Korean Taegeuk, symbolising a ‘bridge’ between the two nations.
Settling on the bridge design, which features elements of the metropolis design along the sides of the bridge in order to maximise safety and reduce the risk of falling, the memorial rises up with a view of Melbourne’s skyline from the west, with a pair of teardrop shaped gardens alongside the bridge to replicate the famed ‘Yin-Yang’ design from Korean culture. The memorial promises to be an ideal location for all people to come together and reflect, but also to enjoy a design that compliments the beautiful surrounding landscape.