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Memorial for Tree of Knowledge by m3architecture and Brian Hooper

Australian architects m3architecture and Brian Hooper Architect have completed a memorial to a tree in Queensland, Australia.

Called Memorial for Tree of Knowledge, the project marks the site where the Australian Labour party is said to have been founded in 1891.

The remaining parts of the dead tree are framed by an 18 metre-high cube-like structure of hanging timber batons, intended to mimic the shape of the tree's canopy in 1891.

Its root ball is displayed beneath a glass floor panel under this canopy.

Photographs copyright Brian Hopper Architect.

Here's some more information from the architects:

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m3architecture complete memorial for Tree of Knowledge in Australia

Brisbane based architecture practice m3architecture, in association with Brian Hooper Architect, have recently completed a £3 million memorial project for the Tree of Knowledge, accredited as being the birthplace of the Australian Labour party in 1891.

Following the poisoning of the tree in 2006 a memorial was commissioned to commemorate and mark this historical landmark located in the small town of Barcaldine in Queensland, Australia.

The design forms an 18 metre high steel and timber structure that follows the canopy, in relief, of the old ghost gum tree using 3,600 individual hanging timber slats.

From afar the memorial seems to form a suspended slatted container that surrounds the remaining branches of the original tree; only once visitors stand under the structure they become aware of the canopy that the individual slats form.

m3architecture's, Michael Lavery explains: “The design was inspired by the way people create and relive memories. The external timbers are charcoaled to create a veil around the memorial space.

This finish and its form reference a place of memory and mourning. The "veil" provides hints to the form and movement inside but it does not fully reveal the impact of this space. This experience is saved for visitors as they enter the shade of the "tree".”

Premier Anna Bligh who opened the monument said: “This is an extraordinary landmark. I have every confidence we are going to see people from all over Australia and from the world wanting to come here and visit this unique and very beautiful monument”

Visible from the highway the building also serves as a signpost for the town and acts as a gateway to Barcaldine forming part of the entrance way to the railway station. At night the memorial is illuminated and creates a popular meeting place for social exchange. The original root ball of the tree is preserved and showcased to visitors through a glass floor panel located under the canopy.