Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial
by Carmody Groarke


British architects Carmody Groarke have completed this granite monolith outside London's Natural History Museum to commemorate victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.

The 115-tonne stone retains the ridged marks created when it was quarried in France.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial by Carmody Groarke

A diagonal slice undercutting one corner reveals a polished triangular face with an embossed dedication.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial by Carmody Groarke

Carmody Groarke and project managers M3 evolved the design through dialogue with survivors and bereaved families.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial by Carmody Groarke

Carmody Groarke also designed a memorial to victims of the 7 July London terrorist bombings, which opened in Hyde Park, London, in 2009.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Memorial by Carmody Groarke

More projects by Carmody Groarke on Dezeen »
More stories about memorials on Dezeen »

Photography is by Luke Hayes.

Here are some more details from the Memorial Project Board:

Memorial to victims of Indian Ocean Tsunami opens

A memorial to the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami opens today in the grounds of the Darwin Centre at the Natural History Museum in London in a ceremony attended by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cornwall.

The Memorial is the culmination of years of work by Tsunami Support UK (TSUK) and was made possible thanks to a £550,000 grant from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

A single granite monolith, the design reflects the views and feelings of UK survivors and bereaved families. It is the product of months of dialogue between them and the design team of Carmody Groarke and M3 Consulting.

Michael Holland, Chairman of the Memorial Project Board, said: “The 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami was one of the worst natural disasters in living memory, hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives. The impact of the devastation was felt across the world. This huge, singular geographical fragment will create a powerful reminder for generations to come of this momentous event within the Earth’s natural history. Its purpose is to stop people forgetting. Within this new public space, the Memorial also offers a place for more quiet contemplation.

“We are immensely grateful to the DCMS for funding the memorial and to the Natural History Museum for making space available in its grounds – we can think of no better place to remember the lives of the UK family members and the over 225,000 others who perished in the Tsunami.”

Kevin Carmody and Andy Groarke of Carmody Groarke said: “It has been a huge privilege to work with the survivors and bereaved families to design a permanent memorial in such a significant public space. Our collective intention is to make a fitting, engaging and unique Memorial - a place for contemplation and remembering for generations to come. Our goal was also to give the Memorial stone a strong architectural relationship between the bold buildings and landscape of the Natural History Museum.”

Dr Michael Dixon, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: “It is fitting that the Natural History Museum is home to this impressive new Memorial. An important part of our mission is to make sense of the natural world and I hope this Memorial will not only bring comfort to those who lost loved ones in the Tsunami but also be a reminder to us all of the powerful and sometimes destructive force of nature.”

  • Albaro Recoba

    Struggle to see how the memorial offers space for quiet contemplation – it's an object dumped into space – with little or no relationship to that amphitheatre-esque seating & ramp adjacent to it (from what I can see). And is it engaging? I guess people will bump their heads on as they balance on that skimpy sliver of paving to read the dedication!

  • Sam

    I agree entirely with you Albaro.

    "…the design reflects the views and feelings of UK survivors and bereaved families…"

    How exactly? I feel the final realisation of the project is being justified entirely by the fact a dialogue was undertaken with the UK survivors and bereaved families. What was said and felt? I don't get any appreciation of those conversations from this memorial.

  • felix

    Why can't commissions like this be given to sculptors and artists?

    Not saying an architect can't design a memorial, but when they do it always seems to be too concerned with form and lacking all poetry.

  • Hey, love. Did your sculpture came 7 years too late?

  • Rachel Maria

    it says the budget was 550,000 pounds…i´m struggling with this.

    • felix

      oh my god

      for context i have private eye open next to me and it says the annual cost of the girls' football Centre of Excellence at Crewe Alexandra is £34,000. you could run it for over 16 years on the money spent on this rock

  • jaycee

    Pointless. Irrelevant. Waste of money. Like all the Nelson Mandela sculptures that appeared a few years ago.

    The funding for this would have been better served actually helping the countries and real people directly affected by the Tsunami. "Reflecting the grief and feelings of the UK people" is absolutely irrelevant.