Landmark Christian monument with a million talking bricks planned near Birmingham

UK design firm Snug Architects has won a competition to design a Christian monument in the form of a giant mobius strip that can tell visitors a million stories of answered prayers. 

Run by the Royal Institute of British Architects, the competition attracted entries from more than 130 architecture practices in 28 countries, who were challenged to come up with a concept that creates intrigue from afar and interaction up close.

Snug’s winning design, to be called the "Wall of Answered Prayer" will use a million bricks, with each telling a story about an answered prayer drawn from contemporary testimonials and centuries of Christian writings.

Visitors will be able to point their smartphones at a brick to be told the story relating to it, according to the organisation developing the project, which points out that sometimes the answer to a prayer is "no", or "not yet".

The concept is explained in this video:

The strip will be 50m high and will occupy a site donated by the Edmiston family at Coleshill Manor on the edge of Birmingham, between the M6, M42 and the planned HS2 rail line.

Paul Bulkeley, design director at Snug Architects, said: "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."

Richard Gamble, chief executive of The Wall of Answered Prayer, said: "This 15-year-old vision is now becoming reality. I’m chuffed to bits with the design which handled perfectly the challenge of creating intrigue when being seen from afar, yet provides a truly interactive journey for those who visit. We want to create an iconic structure the nation will not only be proud of but find inspirational – it will be a landmark of hope."

The Wall of Answered Prayer website says that 500,000 journeys will travel past the monument every week, and up to 200,000 people will visit the site annually. "We hope that as people interrogate the answered prayers and comprehend the colossal nature of what they are witnessing, they will personally encounter the God who answers."

The organisation hopes to have the Wall built before the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Image: Snug’s rendering of the strip and visitor centre

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  1. I am delighted to see that Birmingham stands at the forefront of recognition of the various religions that come together to create an environment that allows all to feel equally represented

  2. I don’t wish to be negative, and this looks like a beautiful structure, but is the subject of “answered prayers” really a legitimate one?
    What about all of the unanswered prayers?
    I really hope this is not a publically funded project.

  3. Wonderful to have a project that reminds us that there is a spiritual dimension to life.

    Re Phil’s comment above it’s probably worth mentioning that the issue of answer to prayer is a complicated one. There isn’t a category of ‘unanswered prayer’. It’s just that the answer may be one of a range of options .-

    Yes now, Not yet, No now but Wait, or the ‘answer’ is in a different way to the one expected.

    A No answer is not an unanswered prayer.

    Great idea! I’ll be coming to visit.

  4. I do not get this project. It does not look recognisably Christian. If people can read about answered prayer online, why do you need a physical structure?

    It is very expensive at a time when many people are struggling to survive. Why spend the money at this time when the priority should be building God’s kingdom in this country. Christians need to be encouraged to meet together and support each other and pray for each other.

    We have had our world turned upside down over the past few months. There are already many Christian buildings that need maintenance and people are struggling with. Why build something else? But at least people understand they represent our Christian heritage. The Wall of Answered prayer needs to much explanation to really be of any use.

    We are told how much it will cost to build, but what about maintenance and what will it look like in 50 years time? if people want or need to encounter God in a building then why not support our Cathedrals. And why encourage any more journeys by car. It is not good for the environment either.

  5. we all need art that brings hope.. Less art depicting doom. Thank you

  6. If people are to take a public works to their hearts it needs an affectionate title like the ANGEL of the North. The word WALL has associations with partition and division, ( Palestine, Mexico, Berlin) I’d like to suggest RIBBON is a more fluid and friendly word with links to compassion.

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