Landscape design students key to sister city garden project

10 June 2022 | News

Lincoln University School of Landscape Architecture students played a key role in constructing a commemoration for Korean War veterans recently at Halswell Quarry’s Songpa-gu Sister City Garden.

The Canterbury Korean War Veterans Pavilion was officially unveiled on Saturday 7 June with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries including Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel, local MPs Sarah Pallett and Tracey McLellan, and Ambassador Sangjin Lee of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Wellington.

The pavilion project, the first of its kind in Aotearoa and designed to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between New Zealand the Republic of Korea, was 18 months in the making.

It began with a request from the Songpa-gu Sister City Committee and Korean Society for Lincoln School of Landscape Architecture (SoLA) students to help revitalise the 20-year-old sister city garden.

Several committee and society representatives visited campus in 2021 to hear about some of the students’ ideas for the area.

One student suggested creating a “home away from home” for Korean residents in Ōtautahi Christchurch by deepening the connections between the garden and veterans of the Korean War.

Several months later, that vision has been realised, with lecturer Don Royds and third year Bachelor of Landscape Architecture students building a pyeongsang (raised picnic platform). They also collaborated with a traditional Korean builder on groundworks for the jeongia (pavilion) during the first half of 2022.

SoLA Associate Professor Gillian Lawson, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, was delighted to note that both MC Adam Curtin and Mayor Dalziel publicly acknowledged the support of Lincoln University and SoLA.

“It was heartening to see what the site and the beautiful pavilion meant to Korean New Zealanders and to Korean War veterans and their families,” she said.

“The Republic of Korea Ambassador, Sangjin Lee, gave an excellent speech on the important partnership between the two countries since the Korean War. It made me very proud to attend on behalf of SoLA and Lincoln University.”

Learn more about studying Landscape Architecture at Lincoln.