A permanent memorial to honour the victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings, will be unveiled in Hyde Park by Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, senior political figures and the families of the 52 killed, on the fourth anniversary of the disaster, Tuesday 7 July 2009. This unique civilian memorial marks the 52 lives lost in the four terrorist bombings in London in 2005. It will offer the opportunity for a sense of closure to the bereaved families as well as a public place of remembrance for all that were affected by the bombings.
The design of the memorial commemorates each life lost with singular columns (or stelae). Each of the 52 victims are represented together in four inter-linking clusters reflecting the four separate locations of the tragic incidents Tavistock Square, Edgware Road, Kings Cross, and Aldgate. Constructed from solid-cast, long-lasting stainless steel, each stele measures 3.5 metres high and will be unique, with individual characteristic finishes brought about by the casting process. Through the choice of materials and the memorials robust nature, it has been designed to stand for many generations.
Visitors will be able to walk around and through the memorial, reading inscriptions marking the date, time and locations of the bombings placed on each of the stelae as they pass. A stainless steel plaque listing the names of the victims will be sited on a grass bank at the far eastern end of the memorial, itself included as a sensitive landscaping element to create an increased sense of quiet contemplation within this busy corner of the park.
The project was commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
(DCMS) on behalf of the bereaved families. A Project Board was formed with representatives of the bereaved families, DCMS and The Royal Parks to find a suitable site and design for a memorial, agreed to be located in Hyde Park. A design team was selected and appointed on the basis of their design approach, following an open international competition process, and includes architects Carmody Groarke, engineering team Arup and landscape architects Colvin and Moggridge Ltd. Antony Gormley was consulted as artistic advisor to the Project Board at key stages in the design process. The design team collaborated with Phil Baines.
The team worked closely with representatives of the bereaved families to design a memorial with them. The first stage was to select a suitable site which, at the families request, was chosen as the South East corner Hyde Park, near Park Lane. The design then evolved through a process of collaboration and consultation, ensuring that the bereaved families feelings and needs were individually met whilst sensitively and powerfully representing their loved ones collectively in memorium.