7 July Memorial by Carmody Groarke

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Plans have been unveiled for a permanent memorial designed by architects Carmody Groarke to commemorate the London bombings of 7 July 2005.

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The memorial will be situated in London's Hyde Park.

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The design consists of 52 cast stainless steel pillars in four clusters, representing the 52 victims of the four incidents. Each three-metre pillar will be inscribed with the date and location of the incident. Above image by Carmody Groark.

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Work is expected to begin on site this autumn, with an official unveiling on 7 July 2009.

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Images by Imaging Atelier, except where stated otherwise.

The following information is from Carmody Groark:

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7 July Permanent Memorial design unveiled

The final design for the permanent Memorial to the 52 innocent victims killed in the London bombings on 7 July 2005 was unveiled today.

The design comprises 52 pillars (stelae), each representing one of the victims. They are grouped together in four inter-linking clusters reflecting the four incidents, with each stele bearing an inscription of the date and location of the particular incident that its cluster represents. It will be situated in the North-east corner of Hyde Park, close to Park Lane and Lover’s Walk.

A plaque, listing the names of the murdered victims, will be sited in the grass bank at the far eastern end of the Memorial.

The Memorial has been created by a Design Team which has worked in close consultation with representatives of the bereaved families and advisors from The Royal Parks.

The Design Team chosen to create the Memorial is made up of Ove Arup and Partners Ltd(lead consultant and engineering services), Carmody Groarke (architect) and Colvin and Moggridge Ltd (landscape architect).

A representative of the bereaved families group said: “This Memorial is a fitting tribute, honouring the 52 lives lost on 7 July 2005, ensuring that the world will never forget them. It represents the enormity of our loss, both on a personal and public level. We hope this Memorial will speak to visitors, so they can understand the impact of these horrific events.

“We would like to thank the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and The Royal Parks for their support throughout this project.”

Architect and Director of Carmody Groarke, Kevin Carmody, said:"We are proud to have had the opportunity to help the bereaved families of the 7 July London bombings create a fitting Memorial to their loved ones. By working in close and constant consultation with them and the wider design team, we have designed something that fulfils their brief to us: to create a Memorial that allows for a collective experience as well as being a place of relative quiet for contemplation for the families and the wider public."

Antony Gormley has acted as an independent artistic advisor to the project in line with the client brief, on a pro-bono basis. He has been consulted by Carmody Groarke to critique the design at key stages in the development of the design, and said: “Using the language of architecture to make order out of chaos, this monument is an opportunity for lost victims to be in contact with the living through a process of discovery, where the memorial’s structure becomes complete through the presence and body language of
a curious visitor.”

Each stele will be three metres (approx. 10 feet) tall and 15-18 cms (6-7.28 inches) square. They will be constructed from cast stainless steel, a robust material that is very long lasting. The casting process of these stelae means that whilst they are all cast from the same mould, each one will be unique.

A planning application for the construction of the Memorial has been submitted to
Westminster City Council. The Memorial will be sited in the South East corner of Hyde Park, between Lover’s Walk and Park Lane.

Subject to planning permission, work on the Memorial is expected to begin on the site in the autumn, with an official unveiling on 7 July 2009.

  • Azeem

    Appreciate the Effort by the authorities & the purpose , no comment on the design as such.

  • Maxence

    I think it could be on a Highway…near a beautiful fastfood…

  • AM

    Remembering innocent victims is compulsory, bad memorial design less…..

  • edward

    Excellent design, but stainless? I would have liked some material that weathered over time.

  • Kevin

    Trying for pathos, but regrettably achieving bathos – one would expect more from them considering the help of Antony Gormley.

    It is not that the design is merely poor and unoriginal, it is that it is what one expects, it’s the first idea in one’s head and thus fails on the first order. I have nothing against stelae, they can be used with great effect – as in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, where a heaving landscape rises and falls, a person experiences the weight of the deaths, the tragedy and the loss – here these thin, reflective poles are nothing more than signifiers of what one thinks a memorial should look like. A rote recitation. And appear to be a clustering of slick signage from an airport. In the end not honoring the people who died needlessly, but relegating their deaths to a small and inconsequential area of Hyde Park, speaking more about the culture of the Iraq war and the great shame a country must have to produce this for a memorial. In that it succeeds, showing us shame at a cost to the families and all Londoners.

    I was in there. The city was quite. The city died that day. Not just those 52 people. We all were still. Afraid. Touching out to all our friends. Walking the streets whispering to each other. This memorial should not be solely about those families. It should represent a loss for us all as a people.

    Carmody Groarke might have done better recycling their elevated walkway, which had the sense that one was walking through an archeological dig viewing the world from afar in a thoughtful distancing of oneself, to greater effect.

  • nils

    a memorial is definitely in order, but this seems like a weak reinterpretation of peter eisenman’s holocaust memorial in berlin.

  • ALISON

    For me, powerful memorials not only deal with the memory of the victims, but also provide forgiveness and understanding of the perpetrators. I am afraid 56 people died that day, not 52. There are also many people still injured from the event. It is for me, silly to have one object for each person, as its always more complex than that.

    Design wise, it leaves me cold, what an unforgiving material and over 50 seperate pilliars! If it was not in Hyde Park surrounded by green I don’t think it would work at all.

  • Haarblicher

    Leaves me cold.

  • monsieur!

    wheres the roof?

    …silly architects

  • sonic

    it could be seen banal. but it is ridiculous to regard one architecture as the one reinterpreting the others’ architecture. this work is convincing in term of simple and solid attitude as an memorial

  • Jay D

    It would seem that there’s already a similar memorial in Hyde Park…The New Zealand War Memorial!

    http://www.mch.govt.nz/projects/memorials/london-media-gallery.html

  • http://everydayarchitecture.blog.com Joaquin

    @edward:

    Agreed. Where’s the Patina of age?

  • Ivor Hall

    An extraordinarily ordinary design by committee. With a final total design/consultants fees of £300+K one might expect a more imaginative outcome.

    I see no evidence of an area for the families of those who died to sit quietly and contemplate, but can see noisy children using the labyrinth of columns as a play area.

    The organisers, the Royal Parks, do not seem to have learnt from their earlier disaster, the Diana Memorial Fountain, and I see health and safety problems arising which will require security/first aid attendants to be present at all times.

  • http://shaman-beverli-rhodes.blogspot.com/ Beverli

    As a survivor from the 7th July bombings i was on the Kings Cross train. I feel that as survivors we could have been given a space or even a tower in silent honour of our very survival. Although we didnt die on the day our lives as they were before that fateful morning did die, forever, London fell silent and also died to the tune of £1billion in revenue.