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7 July Memorial

London, United Kingdom
1 of 5Christian Richters / Gautier Deblonde

Working closely with the families of the victims of the 7 July 2005 bombings, a permanent memorial was designed to commemorate the worst terrorist attacks in peacetime London. Located in Hyde Park, the memorial’s setting on a new park path provides a place for contemplation within one of the largest public spaces in London. The singular and collective loss inflicted by the bombings has informed the character of the memorial. Fifty-two 850 kg stainless steel cast vertical pillars (or stelae), each representing one of the 52 lives lost, are arranged in an open pattern of four interlinked clusters representing the four locations of the bombs. Each stela is characterised by the unique marks in its surfaces caused by the open-cast process, as well as an inscription carried at eye-level describing the date, exact timing and location of each life lost. Visitors are encouraged to walk amongst the stelae and ponder their meaning. A plaque is located on a berm at the end of the path which records the names of each victim.

Through the language of abstract architecture, the memorial is intended to be a symbol of reconciliation for the families, as well as a permanent reminder for generations to come of the devastating effects of the bombings. The project won the 2010 RIBA London Award and was nominated for the 2010 Stephen Lawrence Prize and for the RIBA CABE Public Space Award.