Adjaye Associates has designed a memorial in Windrush Square to honour Cherry Groce, who was shot in her home by the Metropolitan Police in front of her children on September 28, 1985. Paralyzed by the shooting, Cherry passed away as a direct result of her injuries in 2011. The 35 years since the shooting is a story of a family and community working together in the pursuit of truth and justice, refusing to accept that this is simply how our society works.
Commissioned by the Cherry Groce Foundation, Sir David Adjaye’s vision for the memorial aims to create awareness and understanding of the life, strength, and experience of Cherry Groce and her family. Cherry’s son, Lee Lawrence explained “not only will this memorial acknowledge the terrible injustice to my mum Cherry Groce but it will also act as a beacon of hope. It will symbolize that lessons can be learned and, more importantly, applied to create the positive change we need for the benefit of us all.”
Envisioned not only as a memorial but as a pavilion for the community, the design complements the existing features of Windrush Square, the angular forms of the landscaping and lawn areas, and the neighbouring Memorial to African and Caribbean soldiers. The use of a single column is representative of Cherry’s strength and support of her community. Integrated benches enhance the functionality allowing the community to engage with and benefit from the memorial pavilion. The roof speaks to the protection and shelter of the Brixton community while its planting serves as a reminder of change, growth and optimism.
Sir David Adjaye explained, “the construction of this memorial will speak to restorative justice and will symbolize that what matters to the community, matters to London and the whole world. This tragedy went too long in the public realm without acknowledgement and there is now renewed urgency and importance in finally facing this history.”