Family Violence Memorial - Amy Muir

Hello, my name is Amy Muir and I'm the Director of Muir Architecture. And in collaboration with OpenWork and Sarah Lynn Reese we have been working together on the design for the Family Violence Memorial.

For us, design is very much about understanding place and this place and this site is a very significant one, bookends the end of Treasury Place. It sits adjacent to the Commonwealth Building and is also adjacent to the Fitzroy Gardens and so they became very important aspects of the site that we wanted to engage with.

The memorial is very much about fragility and strength, and for us, it was about finding a material that could articulate those two conditions; and so steel became an obvious choice of material.

The memorial wall, we saw as an opportunity to talk to the fact that this is not a memorial that is signifying a thing that is complete. It is a space that is in motion, it is a memorial that is in motion. And therefore there needed to be a way of communicating that this is not just for the individual, but for the broad collective. 

This is a place for everyone. This is a place for people to pause, reflect and engage with the idea of what family violence might be for them.

It is also a place of education. And that became a really important part of what this memorial would do within the city of Melbourne.

The tree that you can see behind me also became a very important part of us understanding how we could engage with the site. And so the nature of the tree that sits behind us is effectively a definition of how time moves as well.

We talked about the idea of the space providing, security, comfort to those who might come and occupy it. And so the notion that the landscape and the wall cocoons that space, that congregation space was really important.

For those visiting the memorial, we hope that they find solace in the place that has been designed for them and that they can return to this and that they can be joined by those who support them and love them.