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Adjaye Associates designs triangular memorial in Brixton to honor Cherry Groce

United Kingdom Architecture News - Jul 08, 2020 - 11:25   2278 views

Adjaye Associates designs triangular memorial in Brixton to honor Cherry Groce

David Adjaye's firm Adjaye Associates has unveiled design for a triangular memorial to honor Cherry Groce, who was shot in her home by the Metropolitan Police in front of her children on September 28, 1985. 

Paralyzed by the shooting, Cherry passed away as a direct result of her injuries in 2011. The 35 years since the shooting is a story of a family and community working together in the pursuit of truth and justice, refusing to accept that this is simply how our society works.

The shooting sparked the Brixton uprising in which a community rose up in protest to the institutional racism and systemic injustice faced by Britain’s black community. 

"Designed by the world-renowned architect Sir David Adjaye, the memorial will act as a beacon of hope in the pursuit of equality, justice and truth," said a statement. 

Adjaye Associates designs triangular memorial in Brixton to honor Cherry Groce

Commissioned by the Cherry Groce Foundation, Sir David Adjaye’s vision for the memorial aims to create awareness and understanding of the life, strength, and experience of Cherry Groce and her family. 

The memorial will be situated in Windrush Square, Brixton, which is a fitting tribute to the life of Cherry Groce.

Adjaye's design includes a triangular plinth and a floating roof that has the landscaping and lawn areas, the roof acts as the protection and shelter element for the Brixton community while its planting serves as a reminder of change, growth and optimism.

Cherry’s son, Lee Lawrence explained: "not only will this memorial acknowledge the terrible injustice to my mum Cherry Groce but it will also act as a beacon of hope." 

"It will symbolize that lessons can be learned and, more importantly, applied to create the positive change we need for the benefit of us all."

Adjaye envisioned the structure not only as a memorial but as a pavilion for the community, the design complements the existing features of Windrush Square, the angular forms of the landscaping and lawn areas, and the neighbouring Memorial to African and Caribbean soldiers. 

Adjaye Associates designs triangular memorial in Brixton to honor Cherry Groce

As the studio highlights, the use of a single column is representative of Cherry’s strength and support of her community. Integrated benches enhance the functionality allowing the community to engage with and benefit from the memorial pavilion. 

"The construction of this memorial will speak to restorative justice and will symbolize that what matters to the community, matters to London and the whole world," said David Adjaye. 

"This tragedy went too long in the public realm without acknowledgement and there is now renewed urgency and importance in finally facing this history," Adjaye added.

Adjaye Associates will work with structural engineering firm AKT II on the project.

All images courtesy of Adjaye Associates

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