Skip to main contentSkip to footer

PRINCESS DIANA WATER MEMORIAL DESIGN UNVEILED


July 30, 2002
Share this:

After months of wrangling, American landscape designer Kathryn Gustafson has beaten off the competition to design a £3 million water memorial in memory of Diana, Princess of Wales. The decision was announced by British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell on Wednesday.

Miss Gustafson’s design, described as “restrained and elegant”, is based on a 50 by 80 metre oval ring around which water will flow using the contours of the site next to the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London. Work on the design will begin almost immediately, and the “ring of water” is expected to be in place by the sixth anniversary of Diana’s death in August 2003.

Diana’s sons, Princes William and Harry, said in a statement: “We are glad that a decision has been taken on the design of the commemorative fountain to our mother and we are grateful to Rosa Monckton and the committee for all their hard work.”

Miss Gustafson and her business partner, London architect Neil Porter, describe the site as offering “serenity, a time and place to reflect”.

“The ability to affect those with whom one comes into contact, while being affected by those around one – these were both attributes associated with Princess Diana,” said the designer in a statement. “We have endeavoured to create a water feature that can be associated with these qualities.”

The memorial involves water pouring into the stone ring from the top of a rise near Serpentine Bridge, down channels along each side, and into a hollowed dish at the bottom. One route forms a fast-flowing torrent pouring over a cascade, while the other flows into a scooped out area which conveys the water onto the slower incline.

The water feature is intended to be shallow enough for children to paddle and play in. At night, the site, which is to be planted with plants and trees, will be floodlit.

Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell was forced to step in to make the final decision earlier this month, after a committee of eight, chaired by Diana's friend Rosa Monckton, which was set up to oversee the project became deadlocked over the final shortlist of two. In the end Miss Gustafson triumphed over Bombay-based designer Anish Kapoor’s 16-foot dome of water.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Described as “restrained and elegant”, the design is based on a large oval stone ring filled with water and set across the contours of the site next to the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The memorial “ring of water” is expected to be in place by the sixth anniversary of Diana’s death in August 2003