Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Unfinished Stairway to Heaven.

You may have noticed an odd slug shaped structure residing at the mouth of Bethnal Green offer the last couple of years. The structure, and it's surrounding landscaping, forms the first phase of the 'Stairway to Heaven' memorial by local architects,  Arboreal Architecture. The project is part of a new public space to commemorate the worst civilian disaster of World War II, when 173 people died on the staircase leading down to the tube station.

Unfortunately, the project ground to a halt when fundraising for the project did not meet the £500k required for completion.  The unfinished memorial still awaits it's final element : a hollowed out stair, evoking the volume of space in which people died. The ceiling of timber addition has 173 holes to represent each of the victims in light. The stair is constructed from a cargo of timber at the bottom of the Irish Sea, ironically from a ship sunk by a German U-boat in the First World War.

It's a lovely piece of civic architecture. Let's hope they meet they're target soon.

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