The Twentieth Century Society

Campaigning for outstanding buildings

Click to see full size Photo © Gavin Stamp

War memorials

London: Commonwealth Gate

Architect: Liam O'Connor, 2002
Location: Constitution Hill. London

The gates at the top of Constitution Hill were unveiled by the Queen in 2002. This memorial celebrates the contribution made by India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Caribbean in both World Wars. A competition held in 1999 was won by Liam O’Connor, but in response to amendments made by Westminster City Council the design was changed. As executed, the pylons surmounted by dishes and the Indian pavilion or chattri on the St James’s Park side of Constitution Hill show a clear and deep debt to the work of Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and demonstrate how the Classical style of memorial produced after the Great War for the Imperial War Graves Commission remains not only resonant but represents a standard which the better sort of modern memorial design sensibly still attempts to emulate.

Gavin Stamp

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