AILA AWARD – Strathewen Bushfire Memorial
Urban Initiatives have won the AILA President’s Award at this years AILA Victoria Awards for the design of the Strathewen Bushfire Memorial.
The design of the Strathewen Bushfire memorial was a collaboration between Urban Initiatives and Arterial Design. The intent of the memorial was to capture the many and varied effects of the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires on Strathewen residents, as well as the surrounding environment. It was to be a place that acknowledged individuals who lost their lives in the fire, as well as telling the story of camaraderie and strength in rebuilding the community after the fires. The challenge was to take visitors on a journey of before, during and after the fire, without them reliving the horror of the event. It was to capture the gravity of the day and the ripple effects on the community, but to be sombre and respectful in its treatment.
The Jury’s comments –
“This is a remarkable project. The work of Urban Initiatives and Arterial Design is an extraordinary gift to the community of Strathewen, to those who have been lost and to those who remain and face the challenge of rebuilding their lives. Tragically, the town of Strathewen with a population of only 250, lost 29 people in the Black Saturday Bushfires. The courage of both the designers and the community members in beginning the journey of healing and then holding fast to the create their memorial together is both inspiring and humbling.
The Jury acknowledges the countless hours, dedication and commitment this project asked of the designers. The contribution you have made to a community who has lost so much inspires us all.”