Arena Group is supporting new initiative led by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and London Marathon Events with a competition for aspiring young architects to design the Mile 18 marker for the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon, taking place April 28.

The winning team was revealed yesterday at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in South London: Ayanna Blair-Ford, Shreeya Radia and Quincy Haynes – all part one graduates from separate London architecture practices.

Before submitting their final designs, ten shortlisted teams were invited to the Arena workshop in St Ives, Cambridgeshire, to observe how the marker is constructed, and to demonstrate the need to be practical with their design concepts.

For more than two decades, Arena project director, Martin Clark has supported the Marathon with temporary structures, as well as seating for the start and finish lines. He was also invited to be part of the competition judging panel, alongside Baroness Lawrence, representatives from London Marathon Events and the Trust’s architecture advisory board.

Clark commented: “We are delighted to have supported the London Marathon event for 24 years. It is one of my favourite events to deliver. We organise a skilled team to tackle the logistical challenges of installing more than 50 structures in just 48 hours before the event and removing them only several hours after the runners have passed, which is a pretty impressive accomplishment given we are working in the city of London, alongside open roads.

“This year is very special and significant. The #BecauseOfStephenWeCan Mile Marker is going to look awesome and we can’t wait to build it with the winning designers!”

The design, which celebrates the life and legacy of Stephen Lawrence, who was 18 when he died, will form an inspiring focal point for runners and spectators during the marathon. The competition also reflects Lawrence’s own aspiration to pursue a career in architecture as well as his love of running.