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Firm 'Proposes' Black Concrete Grenfell Memorial

Monday, August 13, 2018

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A London design studio has sparked some conversation with its recently released visualizations of the Grenfell Tower re-imagined as a memorial to the more than 70 people who died in a blaze there last year.

The Proposal

JAA Studio proposed “Grenfell Tower: In Memoriam,” which calls for the preservation of the tower as it stands, with the addition of black concrete cladding on the exterior.

Images: JAA Studio

A London design studio has sparked some conversation with its recently released visualizations of the Grenfell Tower reimagined as a memorial to the more than 70 people who died in a blaze there last year.

A garden terrace would be added to the roof and a light installation would be placed in the apartment where the fire broke out. The bottom four floors would be repurposed for community uses and a gallery dedicated to the victims and those impacted by the fire.

The proposal though, is not meant to be taken seriously, the architects note.

“This is not a real project and should not be taken as such: It is a discussion piece to provoke conversation about what happens next,” said Alessio Cuozzo, JAA’s director.

“We feel the existing building has a significant level of importance following the fire, not just to those directly affected but also for the city.”

Before officials realized the firm wasn’t actually proposing such a memorial, many came out with harsh criticism. Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad called the vision a “misery porn theme park” and “macabre.”

Dent Coad later apologized and said that the council is looking forward to working with residents over what should become of the site.

The Memorial

In March, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government released a set of principles regarding governing decisions on the site.

JAA Studio, proposed “Grenfell Tower: In Memoriam,” which calls for the preservation of the tower as it stands, with the addition of black concrete cladding on the exterior.

"We are pleased that eight months on from the fire we finally have agreement that the bereaved, survivors and community will be at the heart of deciding the legacy of the site," said Shahin Sadafi, chair of Grenfell United, at the time. "We hope working together to create a fitting memorial will be part of a healing process for everyone affected."

Officials say in the document that the community will lead the decisionmaking with the bereaved getting a veto on all future decisions and a 50 percent representative vote.

Reports indicate that the site will likely be turned into a memorial for victims and its repurposing will coincide with other developments in the neighborhood, including the renaming of the nearby rail station.

"The common assumption is that this consultation will lead towards agreement on a fitting memorial to remember those who lost their lives, and a request to Transport for London for the renaming of Latimer Road Underground Station to commemorate Grenfell Tower," the document states.

   

Tagged categories: Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Fire; Health and safety; Maintenance + Renovation; Safety

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