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Napier War Memorial concept drawings to be presented at community meeting

The concept drawings for the restoration of our Napier War Memorial will be unveiled to the community at a meeting to be held at the Napier War Memorial Centre, at 5.30pm on 22 March.

The War Memorial Reference Group agreed to the concept drawings on Monday. Once the community meeting has been held, the design will go before the full Council for formal adoption.

Features of the design concept include a curved wall physically connected to the building, displaying the Roll of Honour, Eternal Flame, a water feature, seating space, remembrance artwork, and landscaping complementing and uniting the building with the Memorial elements.

Architect of the original War Memorial Hall on Marine Parade, the late Guy Natusch, was an advisor to the Reference Group until his passing five months ago. He requested heritage architects be a part of the design team and endorsed the appointment of architects James Blackburne and Jeremy Salmond to provide heritage advice and guidance to the Reference Group, which comprised representatives of the community, Heritage Places, the defense force and the Napier and Taradale Returned Services Associations.

“I made a commitment to Guy Natusch that the restoration of our War Memorial would be something he could be proud of, something that paid homage to his original design from 1957.

“The community has waited long enough for this project to come to fruition, so we will be working as quickly as we can to see it completed,” says Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.

Following the formal adoption detailed drawings will be produced and costs for the project will be finalised.

The Roll of Honour plaques and Eternal Flame were originally positioned outside the War Memorial Hall, but were later enclosed within a foyer inside the building during its upgrade in 1995.

The heritage architects’ guidance for the restoration project is that it should be based on the original design philosophy of Mr Natusch and include as much of the original fabric of the design as possible.

As such the design concept includes both the original Roll of Honour plaques and Eternal Flame, which are current stored at the Council City Services depot. The concept, including the placement of these elements, is very much reminiscent of the original 1957 design.

Alongside the development of the design concept Council took the opportunity to review the Roll and made a series of recommendations to the Reference Group, including that an

electronic version would be incorporated into the design, allowing for additional information such as stories, photos or letters to be part of a digital archive.

These recommendations were also endorsed by the Reference Group to go before Council for formal adoption.

The War Memorial Reference Group and all of Council are looking forward to moving ahead with the respectful restoration of our War Memorial.

3 March 2021

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