Winning design announced in the Virgin Money London Marathon Mile Marker Competition for aspiring architects

We have today announced the winning team of aspiring young architects that will design the new mile markers for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 26 April – The 40th Race. As part of our Mile Marker Competition in partnership with London Marathon Events Ltd.

The competition builds on the success of last year’s ground-breaking competition to design the Mile 18 Marker, in celebration of the first national Stephen Lawrence Day. It provides a rare opportunity for young architects to have their design built and showcased at the world’s most popular marathon, where their design will be seen by more than 43,000 runners and a TV audience of millions in more than 190 countries across the globe.

The winning design was developed by four Part II architecture students – Chantal Banker, Haider Bokarie, Davina Lyn and Athis Rashid – from the University of Huddersfield School of Art, Design & Architecture. The judges were excited by the design’s unusual hexagonal structure, which will be 3D-printed from recycled plastics. The intention is that the mile markers will also be used in future years – supporting London Marathon Events aim of making the event as sustainable as possible.

Pictured from left: (The winning Team) Athis Rashid, Davina Lyn and Chantal Banker

Above: The winning design ‘United We Stand’ 

Nearly 40 teams and individuals registered to take part in the competition. Ten teams were shortlisted and spent a day with the Arena Group team, who build the mile markers on the day, learning about the challenges of constructing the mile markers quickly and safely. Shortlisted teams were also mentored by architects from prestigious London-based architects Squire & Partners, before presenting their final designs to a judging panel that included Sonia Watson, our Chief Executive and Hugh Brasher, Event Director at London Marathon Events Ltd.

Launched on Stephen Lawrence’s birthday (13 September), the competition to design the mile markers reflects Stephen’s own aspiration to pursue a career in architecture as well as his love of running – he was a member of the Cambridge Harriers running club and competed in the Mini London Marathon in 1988.

The competition is a great chance to push our work in supporting young people from disadvantaged and under-represented backgrounds further, to enter the career he loved, as well as raising the profile of its wider work supporting young people to enter and succeed in the career of their choice. Chantal Banker from the winning team is herself a member of our Building Futures programme, which inspires and enables young people to study and qualify as architects.

Chantal said: “We really enjoyed taking part in the competition, meeting the other teams and working on our own design. We are thrilled to be the winners and have already learnt a huge amount from the process. We are looking forward to the next stage, as we work on turning our design concept into a reality.”

Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events Ltd, said: “We are delighted to once again be working with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. It was amazing to see the innovation and creativity from all the young architects in the competition and that made it hard to choose a winner. However, I believe we have found an amazing new design that will really inspire our runners as they take on the 40th edition of the world’s greatest marathon.”

Pictured from left: 1) Athis Rashid, Stuart Lawrence, Davina Lyn, Hugh Brasher and Chantal Banker   2) Davina Lyn, Chantal Banker and CEO Sonia Watson

Sonia Watson, our Chief Executive said “The Virgin Money London Marathon is an iconic event, so it is incredibly exciting that aspiring young architects have the opportunity to be part of it. I can’t wait to see their ground-breaking design on Race Day on Sunday 26 April.”

Photographer: Sharron Wallace ©