On 22 May 2017, twenty-two people, concertgoers and their loved ones waiting for them, had their lives taken in a terrorist atrocity at the Manchester Arena.
It has been an honour to be chosen to help the bereaved families and the wider team imagine and realise this memorial landscape. The design ideas and thoughts behind ‘The Glade of Light’ have always come from a place of heart-felt respect and deep sympathy. We believe design is about and for people and it is not a fixed thing on a plan, but consists of an ever-changing, living and shifting series of moments.
Within a sunny glade, a halo of white ‘book-matched’ marble references the infinite and the eternal, floating above an ever-changing orchestration of plants. The twenty-two names have been inlaid in bronze within each unique block of Marble. Nestled beneath the bronze hearts set around the circle are memory capsules, within which the bereaved families have left special memories, private messages and meaningful mementoes.
The Glade of Light embraces a more dynamic and contemporary form or memorialisation. The abstracted design is ultimately an emotional as well as intellectual response to the ineffability of sorrow and loss.
We envisioned a wild and beautiful garden that embraces you. A treasured place where you feel connected with nature. A grove of Oak, Birch, Hawthorn and Pine, are gathered together around the quiet glade. Inspired by the colours and wild beauty of the nearby Peak District Heathlands, the planting within the sunny glade of grasses, heathers, bulbs and perennials changes throughout the year.
It is a soft and green setting within the busy city, a place for people to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Our wish for this garden is that it will encourage everyone to pause and search for stillness.