Bethnal Green Memorial

client: Stairway to Heaven Memorial Trust
engineer: Ed Morton (Director), Claudio Corallo (Project Engineer)
status: Phase 1 Completed
value: £500k
role: Structural Engineers

The memorial commemorates the worst WWII disaster in terms of civilian loss, which occurred on 3rd of March 1943 at the Bethnal Green Tube Station. It was a wet late afternoon when the local population rushed into the station at the sound of the air raid sirens. A woman tripped at the bottom of the poorly lit staircase and as the crowds pushed from behind 173 people were trapped and crushed to death.

The monument has the form of a hollow inverted staircase supported off a precast concrete plinth rising from the ground. It is located above the tube tunnel and adjacent to the station, to an area severely congested in terms of services.

Phase 1, which included the construction of the unbalanced foundations and the erection of the precast concrete plinths, is now completed.

Design for Phase 2, which includes the laminated salvaged teak staircase is also completed and funds are currently being raised by the Memorial Trust to complete the construction.

The design of such a unique landmark in a heavily congested urban environment has been a challenging task which has required careful consideration for the structural and non-structural constraints and phased 3D modelling of the construction sequence.

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