Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel, London

14 Mar

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Entrance Gate with Arch

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Entrance Gate with Arch

Altab Ali Park is a renovated park (formally St. Mary’s Park) designed by muf Architecture and opened to the pubic in 2011. It is situated on the site of the White Chapel (1250 – 1286), after which the surrounding area was named. The chapel was rebuilt many times as a place of worship (the most recent incarnation in 1877) and was finally destroyed in 1940 during a bombing raid in the Second World War. The new name for this park is in memory of Altab Ali, a 25 year old Bangladeshi who was murdered in a racist attack this area in 1978. His death sparked a march which eventually pushed the National Front out of Whitechapel.

The entrance arch was created by David Peterson in 1989 as a memorial to Altab Ali and other victims of racist attacks. ItĀ  incorporates Bengali style patterns and symbolises the merging of different cultures of East London. The base on which this arch is situated is part of the stone doorway into the original White Chapel which was situated on this site.

From the park’s main entrance gate on Whitechapel Road a footpath diagonally bisects the park in two.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Diagonal Path

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Diagonal Path

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Retained Tomb and Seating

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Retained Tomb and Seating

To the north of the diagonal path an elevated section of green terrazzo maps the plan of the former church’s nave. This also performs the function of a bench.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Tarrazzo Bench Mapping the Church's Nave

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Tarrazzo Bench Mapping the Church’s Nave

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Tarrazzo Ramp

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Tarrazzo Ramp

Arranged throughout the park are relics (both original and replica) of the former churches and graveyard, making reference to this site’s past.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Church Fragments

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Church Fragments

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Church Fragments Inlaid with Carrom Board

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Church Fragments Inlaid with Carrom Board

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Retained Tomb

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Retained Tomb

In the south west corner of the park a replica of Shaheed Minar is located. This was created in 1999 and symbolises a mother protecting her children with the sun in the background. The original in Dhaka, Bangladesh, is a national monument. It commemorates those killed in the Bengali Language Movement demonstrations in 1952.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Shaheed Minar Replica

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Shaheed Minar Replica

To the south side of the diagonal path is a children’s natural play area is located. This is composed of grassed earth mounds, rocksĀ and tree trunks.

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Natural Play Area

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Natural Play Area

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Logs as Play Equipments

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Logs as Play Equipments

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel - Logs Play Equipment Detail

Altab Ali Park, Whitechapel – Logs Play Equipment Detail

 

Davis Landscape Architecture

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: