- RIBA & The Wall of Answered Prayer
- Solihull, Birmingham
- Project Leaders
- Daniel Christison
- 4.1 ha site
- 6.1 M
Challenge RIBA International Competition Entry
Quattro was shortlisted from 2000+ entrants in the RIBA International Competition. The brief was to design a national landmark, similar to the Angel of the North, which would bring Prayer to the forefront of the nation’s consciousness and provoke an on-going conversation about the value of Prayer. It is to be constructed from one million bricks, each representing the answering of a prayer. This landmark is to be experienced both on site and by hundreds of thousands of passers-by who would witness the landmark from neighbouring M6, M42 and proposed HS2 rail network. The site is also located adjacent to the Birmingham Airport flight path. The proposal had to meet the client’s financial budget.
Solution The Wall of Answered Prayer – A National Landmark of Hope
The landmark rises out of the ground as two large intersecting arches that create a ring. Each arch represents the act of prayer, and its answer, in a call and response motion, overlapping at the top, indicating a connecting entity. Depending on angle of view, this is seen either as a circle, an ellipse or a soaring wall. The Wall as an entity in circular form achieves many objectives: it defines an area, it is a raised viewing point, it is an appealing enclosure to keep you safe, but not a physical barrier. The wall-circle symbol works on many levels, comprehended universally often with spiritual references. The 55 metre-tall structure would be visible from all adjacent transport links creating an iconic landmark to be enjoyed by all, regardless of religious views or interpretation.
Seating is located in the base of the structure as a place for reflection or for larger community events. Relating infrastructure has also been designed, including parking, landscaping and visitors centre.
The visitor centre includes a café, raised viewing platform, prayer room, gift shop and learning centre which allows visitors to learn of the process and history that led up to The Wall of Answered Prayer being constructed. This learning centre also continues out onto the landscaped area that leads to the structure, with information points along the route that provide additional information about The Wall and interactive points which indicate what brick relates to an individual’s submitted answered prayer. To our knowledge this type of structure, shape and scale has never been attempted. To achieve this, close collaboration with our structural engineer partner lead to a post tension concrete frame solution that had special keyed bricks casted into the frame. A digital companion app has also been proposed in conjunction with the structure that allows visitors to find in which brick their submitted answered prayer is embodied.
Quattro’s shortlisted design was featured, amongst others, in The Architects Journal, The Daily Mail, BBC News, including a BBC Radio Gloucestershire interview with Project Leader Daniel Christison.