As part of a new £15.7 million development of a remembrance centre at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire, Marshalls was approached to supply a traditional looking hard landscaping solution.
Situated on the edge of the National Forest, the Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance, with a maturing woodland landscape that is home to over 330 memorials.
A £12 million appeal was launched in 2009 by HRH the Duke of Cambridge, the Patron, to rebuild the visitor centre so that those visiting the Arboretum would be able to enjoy outstanding facilities.
In the middle of this stunning new development, a courtyard called Heroes’ Square was proposed. To help fund the project, an appeal offered a limited number of paving stones that would be intricately inscribed with cap badges or crests of the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and City Livery Companies.
The new building’s Portland limestone façade suggested a natural collaboration with Marshalls’ Scoutmoor Natural Stone paving, a combination used throughout the streets of London.
Scoutmoor Yorkstone is exceptionally hardwearing and has beautiful natural colour variation. The blue grey and brown hues of the stone integrated well with the surrounding landscape, and perfectly coordinated with the larch timber used in the building’s structure.
Heroes’ Square truly is the centrepiece of the project. A combination of setts and varying sized flags creates natural delineation and patterning throughout the space forming a calm and rational architectural language, and the plain surrounding stones of each engraved flag ensures their prominence for the eye.
The National Memorial Arboretum is an extremely moving place to visit, and has unsurprisingly become a venue that many people who have lost loved ones on public service will want to visit. The striking concept of using paving stones to honour fallen service men and women allows associations, units and individuals to receive special recognition and provides an added dimension for the visitor.