The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has launched an open contest for a £750,000 memorial in Birmingham to the victims of the Sousse and Bardo massacres
The competition seeks proposals of the ‘highest creative merit’ for a new permanent tribute in Cannon Hill Park to the 31 British nationals killed in the terrorist attacks in Tunisia two years ago.
Intended as a place of ‘remembrance, commemoration and reflection’ and planned to open in 2018, the winning scheme will occupy an oval-shaped 25m by 15m site (pictured) overlooking a lake and surrounded by a small glen of trees.
According to the brief: ‘In 2016, a consultation was held with the British families affected by the two attacks to allow them to have a say on the preferred location for the memorial. With the affected families spread across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham was chosen as the site which came closest to meeting the views expressed by the families on location and accessibility.
‘The affected families were also consulted on the style and setting of the memorial. Their views have been incorporated into the brief and we envisage a further consultation on the shortlisted designs.’
Three militants attacked the Bardo National Museum in the Tunisian capital city of Tunis on 18 March 2015 and killed 22 people including one British national. Three months later, on 26 June, a single terrorist gunman killed 38 holidaymakers including 30 British nationals in an attack on the Port El Kantaoui resort outside Sousse.
The Sousse massacre is recognised as the UK’s worst terrorist incident since the 7/7 bombings in London and is understood to have affected more than 500 households and up to 2,000 British nationals.
The memorial to the Sousse and Bardo incidents’ victims will be constructed in Cannon Hill Park in the south of Birmingham next to Edgbaston Cricket Ground. The structure will occupy a secluded site overlooking the lake. Families of victims indicated a preference for a less traditional-style monument with a water theme representing the flow of life.
Proposals should incorporate the names of victims and also recognise unnamed victims, accommodate small tokens of remembrance, and provide a quiet place for reflection. Schemes should be accessible, robust, easy to clean and constructed from sustainable materials.
FCO minister for North Africa Tobias Ellwood said: ’The Sousse and Bardo Memorial will be a place of remembrance for the families of those who lost their lives in the two appalling attacks in 2015 and also a place of solace for others who were affected.
’Last year we undertook a consultation with the families and the peaceful setting of Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham has been selected as the most suitable location for the memorial. We are now inviting expressions of interest to design a memorial that would be a fitting tribute to all those caught up in these horrific events.’
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for clean streets, recycling and environment, councillor Lisa Trickett, said: ’Cannon Hill Park is a beautiful park at the heart of our diverse city and we are honoured that the families of the victims of this terrible massacre have chosen it as the place for their memorial. I look forward to seeing the design and hope that it will in some small way help the families directly affected, whilst also providing a space for everyone to remember, commemorate and reflect.’
Applicants must submit a CV and details of relevant previous projects alongside a creative and practical response to the brief during the competition’s first stage. Members of the creative panel include Mark Castle, chief executive of Victim Support; Glenn Howells, director of Glenn Howells Architects; and Sally Tallant, director of the Liverpool Biennial.
Up to eight shortlisted teams will then receive £2,000 each to develop their designs ahead of a final review by a technical panel and independent creative jury. The winner of the £100,000 design contract will be announced on 15 August.
The deadline for applications is 2pm (BST) on 29 March.
How to apply
View the contract notice for more information
Foreign & Commonwealth Office