Architecture of Memory awarded prize

21 December 2017
Detail from the winning design

Designs for a museum that invokes silence has won a 2017 Concrete Prize worth $4,000.

Choreographed Absence: An Architecture of Memory by Shiyao Annie Tong, a twenty-two year-old Masters of Architecture (Professional) student at the University of Auckland, received the award from the New Zealand Concrete Society this month.

The Society awards up to four prizes each year to final-year or postgraduate tertiary students in New Zealand, in recognition of projects that encourage a greater knowledge and understanding of all aspects of structural and architectural concrete.

Shiyao’s concrete design was narrative-based, with architectural spaces containing recollections of memories and fragments of loved ones.

“I was interested in the idea of memorial, but rather than an architecture of symbolism, my project is designed to evoke a silence from within the individual, in a sense facilitating and creating a place for inward and reflective revelation to occur,” says Shiyao.

Her design leads visitors through the series of spaces to recollect memories and fragments of silence. Intended as a museum exhibiting belongings of the deceased, the work attempts to utilise silence in remembrance of intimate and fragile relationships.

Shiyao designed Choreographed Absence: An Architecture of Memory for her final-student project, supervised by Senior Lecturer Dr Ross Jenner and Professor Andrew Barrie from the School of Architecture and Planning.