Planning permission has been granted by Westminster Council for the construction of a national memorial to police officers who have died in the course of duty. The memorial designed by Foster and Partners in association with the Danish visual artist Per Arnoldi will be sited at Cambridge Green at the north-eastern junction of the Mall and Horse Guards Road in front of the Old Admiralty Building. The permission to build the memorial follows a ten-year campaign by the film director Michael Winner, who founded the Police Memorials Trust after the death of PC Yvonne Fletcher during the siege of the Iranian Embassy in 1984.
The memorial consists of two distinct elements. A book listing the names of officers killed on duty will be displayed in a vitrine within a dark stone wall. This wall, which will also carry an inscription and the polices badge of office, will form one side of a rectangular enclosure concealing the concrete London Underground vent shaft that currently occupies the site. The other three sides will be faced in the same dark stone and covered almost entirely in creeper similar to that covering the walls of the adjacent citadel.
Alongside this enclosure will be a tall transparent wall of glass sited in a reflecting pool and gently illuminated with blue light. The glass wall represents the blue lamp once displayed outside every police station in Britain and still regarded as a symbol of the police and their readiness to serve. The glass wall provides a degree of shelter so that those visiting the memorial may do so in an appropriate setting for contemplation, and it also acts as a symbol for the project. The two elements are linked by Purbeck stone paving.
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