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Snug Architects

Snug wins the international design competition for The Wall of Answered Prayer

We are absolutely delighted to be able to announce that we have won the international design competition for The Wall of Answered Prayer. The winning team has been announced at an exclusive ceremony at The Birmingham Conference and Events Centre, in Birmingham and a Parliamentary Reception in London.

Speaking about the practice’s selection, Paul Bulkeley, Design Director at Snug Architects said: “It is an honour to have been chosen to design and deliver this project of national significance. We are excited by the vision behind this ground-breaking project and are looking forward to working with the team. To see it become a reality. At Snug Architects we believe this will be a structure that both inspires and engages visitors for many years to come.”

Snug Architects designed a dramatic and inspirational national monument of hope to be located at the centre of the UK. The design is based on the topological concept of a Möbius strip and will create an awe inspiring and dynamic visitor experience that is rich with symbolism.

Vision for an ambitious and inspirational landmark

‘The Wall of Answered Prayer’ (The Wall) is the vision of Richard Gamble, former Leicester City Football Club Chaplain, to build a colossal national landmark of hope.

Richard’s idea is to provoke an on-going conversation around the purpose and value of prayer. The message that Jesus is alive and answers prayer will be represented by one million bricks with each and every brick telling a unique story. The sheer scale of The Wall in a prominent location will place the landmark and its message at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. This piece of public art will be designed to stand for generations to come.

Richard Gamble, Chief Executive with The Wall of Answered Prayer commented: “I have been blown away by the incredible imagination demonstrated in each of the designs put forward but Snug’s entry was truly awe inspiring and I am confident that the finished article will be equally impressive. The Wall has been a dream for 15 years but moved into the realms of reality following a successful Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. In an effort to give back to the communities who have supported us in getting to this point, we will also be donating one million bricks to social housing projects across the UK.”.

The winning design

The seed funding was used to run a global competition with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to come up with a winning design and to create the website database of the million answered prayers.

The competition received 134 entries from 24 countries. In the final stage of the competition in May 2019, an expert panel selected Snug’s design from five shortlisted entries.

Judges were impressed by the use of a Möbius strip concept to create a continuous loop of wall that allows visitors to process through a gravity defying triumphant arch, before encircling the wall. It will confound expectations of what a structure commissioned by the Christian church may be like. The arch, with seemingly no support where the strip curves and twists, will be over 40m high with an 80m span. This will make it significantly larger in scale than Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North, which is 20m tall, with wings measuring 54m across.

Engineering simulation and structural analysis

Snug called on Ramboll’s Digital Building Team and their Engineering Simulation specialists to turn the design into a buildable proposition. Carl Brookes, Director – Engineering Simulation at Ramboll said: “Absolutely delighted to be working with Snug on delivering this national monument. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to develop the challenging engineering required to make the truly radical and gravity defying form of the Mobius strip reality. Undoubtedly this will be an inspirational, thought-provoking and iconic structure for generations to see and visit.”

Construction

The Wall will be built in a highly visible location next to the M6 / M42 motorway junction, the planned route of the HS2 high speed rail line and below the flightpath serving Birmingham airport in the West Midlands, UK. In excess of three hundred thousand people will see it each day and it will remain in the national consciousness, a modern response to the Christian heritage of the country.

The start of construction is due in 2020, with completion aimed ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games to be held in Birmingham.

The Wall delivery team is as follows.

  • Snug Architects – Architect & team lead
  • Ramboll – Engineering and analysis
  • Gleeds – Client advisor
  • UBU Design Ltd – Landscape architects
  • Ridge – Cost consultants

Funding and costs

All the funding for The Wall will be from private investment. Some of this funding will come from major donors and some will be crowdfunded from individual donors.

The campaign to build The Wall was launched on the Kickstarter crowd funding website in 2016. During the 39 day funding period 692 backers pledged £47,215, exceeding the £45,000 goal for seed funding. In the long term any profits will be used for social housing or to support Christian organisations.

We are excited to be working with a great team to deliver such a nationally significant project. More images of the project can be found in our portfolio.

10 things about The Wall

https://youtu.be/RmEZr59xRM8

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