7/7 PERMANENT MEMORIAL, HYDE PARK
To create 52 single columns (stelae), one to commemorate each life lost in the July 7 attack. Each stelae to be 3.4m high and to be unique, with individual characteristics brought about by the casting process.
Also to create a plaque with the names of each individual who lost their life.
The brief was regarded as highly demanding and of great technical complexity. Many foundries asked to quote on this project believed it couldn’t be done. Norton Cast Products was delighted and privileged to be asked to carry out this work.
Norton Cast Products developed some innovative techniques to enable the 3.4m columns to be cast in an open mould, exposing one face to the atmosphere. The stainless steel used was an enhanced grade produced and tested by Norton Cast Products specifically for this project. The stelae have three slightly different textures, finest sand is in the base of the mould where the lettering is, the sides are slightly coarser and the back coarser still. When erected, each stelae was oriented in a different direction so this contrast in textures became apparent. The lower 200mm was covered with hardcore topped with resin-bonded gravel to match the paths in Hyde Park.
Each stelae was inscribed with the date, time and location of the bombings. The letters were cast in 4mm relief and had to clean and flawless, in contrast to the otherwise organic as-cast element.
The stainless steel plaque listing the names was large and highly complex. The letters were cast in 10mm relief and ground back to 5mm.
“Norton Cast showed great sensitivity towards each cast element physically representing a life lost and appreciated that a sculptural result was required to differentiate one stelae from another with subtle nuances, rather than creating engineered equivalence in all 52 castings.”
Carmody Groarke, Architects