margaret thatcher statue, parliament square
Arguably one of the most influential politicians in British history, a new memorial to Margaret Thatcher is proposed, facing Parliament across Parliament Square.
Timothy Crum, director of FINE architecture, was originally commissioned by Ivan Saxton of the Public Memorials Appeal as planning consultant, however, after the application was blocked due to vandalism fears, he undertook a new design for the plinth in response.
The design is a simple obelisk with the tapering geometry focused symmetrically and centrally above the clasped hands.
Its form extends from the outline of the gown down to ground level behind as a symbolic trail of the impact and ongoing legacy that Margaret Thatcher has made. From ground level the eye is therefore drawn upwards and forwards through the statue with one foot visibly protruding beneath her robes. This dynamic is contrasted with the resolute composure of the statue and the clasped hands as a focal point of the geometric obelisk.
Her gaze is to the right akin to her political views.
The plinth trail terminates just above ground level with an elegant lip below which a rough hewn granite surface finish flows down to the surrounding ground level base. The contrasting polished and rough finishes to the granite may be interpreted as representative of the contrasting elements of her character or of how people view her. At the same time the rear trail to the plinth’s shape may be interpreted to suggest the impact of her time in office, its enduring legacy and the divided opinions generated by her controversial policies.