This project included significant urban design and landscape aspects in addition to the main memorial. Designed as an open roofed pavilion accessible from Piccadilly and from The Green Park, the memorial contains a seven figure bronze sculpture and quotations carved in stone by Winston Churchill, providing a poignant reminder of the great loss of life of airmen from across the Commonwealth who were all volunteers serving in RAF Bomber Command during the Second World war. The memorial is made from Portland stone and covered with an open structural stainless steel roof inspired by the Vickers Wellington ‘geodetic’ airframe designed by Barnes Wallis. The riveted panels of aluminium that form the ceiling were formed from the remains of a Canadian Halifax aircraft, shot down over Belgium on 12th May 1944.
‘‘A memorial to the crews of Bomber Command has been half a century too long in coming. Having seen the plans for this sublimely beautiful memorial, I do feel that at last their wait is at end. This will be a truly fitting epitaph...’’
HRH Prince William,
Duke of Cambridge
RAF BOMBER COMMAND MEMORIAL
The memorial building forms an elegant backdrop to this central London Royal Park setting, overlooking an important and celebrated open space in the city. Its stone colonnaded ‘wings’, stretch out along the boundary to the park and form gateways from the busy urban street into the park. Many new trees were planted along with new topiary hedging that forms a new edge to the park and facilitated new paths and connections along with a 2 metre change in level to create a number of new pedestrian connections around the memorial.
‘The memorial honors their courage with a thoughtful classicism that needs no interpretation to be understood. Architect Liam O’Connor showed how classicism’s simple language articulates a noble endevour.’
Architecture Here and There, What Monuments tell us,
David Brussat, March 15th 2015
The loadbearing stone structure supports an entablature of unreinforced stone lintels above, all with 3mm lime mortar joints. The roof is a unique open structural stainless steel structure supporting an aluminium riveted ceiling and with a sheet copper roof. Highly skilled craftsmen and women were involved in the whole construction process and Richard Kindersley, the inscription artist, created a unique letter face for the inscribed texts, inspired by his knowledge or ancient Greek inscriptions and the typography that was popular during the Second World war.
Society of British Interior Design; Fellow of the year 2012
The Stone Federation of Great Britain: Traditional stone masonry award 2014