The first column of the Milton Keynes Rose was unveiled on 11.11.11
The commission has been to create a powerful memory place which makes sense of the existing location, enhances it and makes it seem the right and 'natural' solution. "By knowledge, design and understanding" as the Milton Keynes motto goes. A sacred space which can span different cultural groups and needs, groups from various faiths and beliefs who can use it. That use is usually rites of repetition and renewal, with strong elements of group and individual memory, remembrance. A basic human need for emotional security and social interaction. Whilst the work has to fit and belong in the location a sacred centre has to differentiate itself from the surrounding 'profane', secular world where we work, rest and play. The work has to be a composition of multiplicity if it is to be shared, to allow multiple reads and uses, it has to be sacred and it has to be a clearly defined place of arrival.
The design has ended up being based on the mathematical beauty of a flower, the maths that inspired cathedral Rose windows but remains constant as the 'Spira Mirabilis' ,the divine proportion whether a poppy, lotus or sunflower. It is the geometry behind much of the worlds sacred architecture. It's purpose is to invest in the forms, materials and shapes of the place a communal setting for 'religious purpose', in our culture in the C21st a challenging and exciting mission. The elements all have strong symbolic content, the circle, concentric circles, the spiral, the colours, water, light. All contribute to the confection to make a place to preform certain practical functions, towards remembrance. The site also uses text at specific points, mostly on the columns [over 140 places], this text should refer to local, national and international calendars and diaries, they should be position so they are not simply 'there' but actually interactive.
Visualizations: Why Not Associates
Photography: Frazer Waller
Copyright © Gordon Young 2011