Adjaye's Design for Cherry Groce Memorial Revealed

John Hill
7. July 2020
Image courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Adjaye Associates has unveiled its design for a memorial to Cherry Groce, who was shot by a police officer in front of her children in 1985, to be built in Windrush Square in London's Brixton district.

The accidental shooting of Dorothy "Cherry" Groce, a black woman and mother of six, on September 28, 1985, sparked riots in Brixton that would last for three days. The police entered her house in the early morning looking for her son, Michael, to arrest him for an armed robbery. He was not home and one of the officers mistakenly shot Cherry while she was lying in bed. She became paralyzed from the waist down and died in May 2011 as a direct result of her injuries. The Metropolitan Police publicly apologized for the shooting in 2014, the same year the Cherry Groce Foundation was created.

Image courtesy of Adjaye Associates

The Cherry Groce Foundation commissioned David Adjaye to design a memorial in honor of Groce, to be located in Windrush Square, which was redesigned by GROSS.MAX in 2008. The triangular shape of Adjaye's design responds to the angles of the square. According to a statement from Adjaye Associates, the memorial is "envisioned not only as a memorial but as a pavilion for the community" and therefore includes seating beneath a canopy. Symbolically, the single column is "representative of Cherry’s strength and support of her community," per the firm, while the roof "speaks to the protection and shelter of the Brixton community ... its planting serv[ing] as a reminder of change, growth and optimism."

Image courtesy of Adjaye Associates

Construction of the Cherry Groce Memorial is set to start soon, with an unveiling ceremony planned for the fall to coincide with the 35th anniversary of the shooting of Cherry Groce.

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