Our mission to create a permanent AIDS memorial in London
Welcome to our consultation page for AIDS Memory UK.
We are currently speaking with local stakeholders, community and residential groups about our proposals to create a permanent AIDS memorial in London.
Our ambition is to honour and commemorate the memory of those we have lost and the profound impact of HIV and AIDS on the diversity of individuals and British society.
We want to achieve this by creating London’s first permanent AIDS Memorial and a unifying focal point in a significant location to reflect and pay tribute.
On this website you can learn more about the importance of creating a permanent, accessible memorial and on the significance of our proposed location. You can also find out more about our journey to this point so far and what will happen next.
If you have any questions or would like to sign up to our mailing list to be kept up to date on the project, please get in touch at [email protected]
Why does London need a permanent AIDS memorial?
The first AIDS related death in the country happened in London in 1981. This marked the beginning of an epidemic that devastated communities in London, throughout the UK and across the world. Despite being one of the most diverse cities in the world, there is no tribute to those impacted by the virus.
Over forty years have passed since the first reported infection and those living with the virus can now live long and healthy lives due to scientific advancements. But there still remains stigma surrounding HIV and access to healthcare. A permanent AIDS memorial in London will help beat these taboos.
Finding the right location
We have carefully chosen a potential location in Bloomsbury for London’s first permanent AIDS memorial because of its historical significance in the nation’s AIDS story.
South Crescent was the location of the Red Ribbon Art Exhibition to mark World AIDS Day in 1994 and is near to Soho Square – the chosen location of past AIDS vigils. It is also located near to the former Middlesex Hospital and The Broderip Ward – the UK’s first AIDS unit.
This prominent location flanked by two main roads, Tottenham Court Road and Gower Streets, provides three key views and pedestrian routes, and would ensure that the memorial is easily accessible for all those who wish to visit and pay their respects.
The memorial will not disrupt vehicle movement along South Crescent and the necessary deliveries and operations needed by the surrounding buildings. We are also considering sensitive lighting to ensure that wildlife disruption is kept to a minimum.
The main trees on South Crescent will be retained and preserved. We want to ensure that the future artist we appoint to design the memorial is given flexibility to create a high-quality and thought-provoking tribute to those lost.
We are right at the start of the journey of creating the AIDS memorial, and we will do this in consultation with local and wider London communities
We don’t yet have any designs nor an artist in mind, however we do have a clear vision and initial brief, informed by our research of other major memorials around the world.
We are currently speaking with local stakeholders, community and residential groups before we submit an application for a memorial in this chosen location.
To help inform discussion at this early stage and demonstrate how a memorial could work on the South Crescent site, our design team has created some CGIs.
Should the memorial application be approved, we will then look to commission an artist and begin wider public consultation in preparation for a planning application.
CGI showing a memorial of spires amongst the existing trees, view from Alfred Place
CGI showing a memorial of spires amongst the existing trees on South Crescent, view from Store Street