Coventry’s thematic identity is the City of Peace and Reconciliation. This is expressed through a series of events, activities and exhibitions, including a peace centre. Plincke were asked to prepare a vision for the city’s largest green space: War Memorial Park. The vision includes a garden to symbolise reconciliation within a public environment.
The design of the garden is based around a spiral that gradually descends to a sunken seating area. A 6m stainless steel column is located adjacent to the seating and acts as a counterpoint to the War Memorial from the main entrance. The form of the spiral represents a ‘journey of reconciliation’, and is kept narrow so that the public move through the space separately, allowing for individual reflection.
Users are able to leave the central seating area, together by means of the wider route, signifying reconciliation after time spent apart. Within planting, sculptural steel stems allow temporary messages of forgiveness, or apologies, to be placed by the public. Within the central seating area is the ‘Pillar of Reflection’. The column is proposed to be engraved with words and quotes of forgiveness.