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Grenfell Tower memorial design team selection process launched
  • Jul 10, 2024
  • Latest Journal

The Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have  today launched the process to select the team that will design the future memorial on the site of Grenfell Tower.  

This is a hugely significant step in the Memorial Commission’s journey to create a bold, fitting, and lasting memorial to remember the 72 victims who lost their lives in, and those whose lives were forever changed by, the devastating Grenfell Tower fire.

The Commission’s publication of their design brief, this morning, provides the criteria that interested teams must meet, and details about how they can apply. Teams are being asked to demonstrate their relevant, professional and specialist expertise including architecture, landscape architecture, and structural and mechanical engineering. Teams must also have strong experience of working collaboratively with communities.

A shortlist of up to five teams will be notified in the autumn. These teams will be asked by the Commission to prepare the design approach they would take if appointed. With direct input from the Grenfell community, the final team is expected to be selected and announced in spring 2025. It is anticipated that the memorial design should be sufficiently developed, in partnership with the community, to allow for a planning application in 2027.

In November 2023, the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission published itssecond report, detailing the Grenfell community's wishes for a permanent memorial. The report called on the government to honour its earlier commitments and fulfil its moral duty to deliver all sixteen of the Commission’s recommendations.

Among the recommendations, are:
• The Grenfell community must always be central to decisions about the memorial.
• The memorial must be a peaceful, sacred space for individual and communal remembrance and reflection.
• The design must reflect the diverse faiths and cultural backgrounds of the Grenfell community.
• The memorial should include a garden, a monument or other structure, and options for commemorating the names of those lost, featuring art, water, and light.

Speaking today, the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission’s ten community representatives, said: “Launching the memorial design team selection process brings us a significant step closer to turning the Grenfell community’s memorial vision into a physical reality.

Through this process, we intend to identify and appoint a specialist and worthy design team. A team that has proven experience of working on sensitive and community-focused projects, and who can clearly demonstrate the integrity with which they will approach this vital task. The beautiful and lasting memorial to our 72 loved ones deserves nothing less.”

Thelma Stober and Lord Paul Boateng, co-chairs of the Grenfell Tower Memorial Commission said: “Our primary commitment as the Commission is to establish a dignified and peaceful space for the Grenfell community to commemorate.

And our fundamental pledge, from the outset, has been to prioritise the voices and wishes of the entire Grenfell community in the decision-making process, both now and in the future.

The bereaved, survivors, and the broader Grenfell community will play integral roles at every stage. This will ensure that the final design embodies a truly meaningful tribute to the 72 lives lost and provides a lasting and appropriate place for loved ones to pay their respects, mourn, and feel connected to their memory.”

Jane Duncan OBE PPRIBA, RIBA Competitions Architect Adviser, Past-President of RIBA and Chair of RIBA’s Fire Safety Expert Advisory Group since 2017, said: “Any process to design a memorial is a huge challenge, but the Grenfell Tower tragedy struck a blow so deeply sad, so shocking and so intense into hearts all around the globe, that to find the right design team, able to draw upon their deepest streams of empathy and delicacy, is a tricky task.

This incredible and unique design team selection process sits naturally on an international stage, just as the tragedy resonated far across the globe.

I ask all architects and designers, wherever you may be, to consider if you have the right skills and experience in dealing with many and diverse stakeholders, in sensitivity of approach and compassion, as well as the innovation and creativity to interpret  and deliver a wonderful design to meet a very personal and touching brief.  

This selection process is a wonderful opportunity to present your most well-rounded team, and express your capabilities, your openness, your imagination, and actually, also, your humanity. We look forward to hearing from you.”

Submissions for Phase 1 must be received by
Wednesday 18 September 2024. You can find out more information at:
(Picture credit: Zute Lightfoot, ACAVA Shoots)

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