At the heart of the International Bomber Command Centre are the Memorial Spire and Walls of Names. Designed by Stephen Palmer of Place Architecture, the Spire is formed of two wing fragments, tapering as they rise towards the sky, separated by perforated supporting plates which make reference to lightweight wing structures. Sitting on the edge of Lincoln's South escarpment the spire form echoes the Cathedral on the North escarpment, as well as the church spires that are a familiar form in the Lincolnshire landscape. The Spire is placed and orientated to turn visitors arriving from the Memorial Avenue and Chadwick Centre towards the Cathedral, creating a sense of being inside a virtual wing as the Cathedral is revealed across the valley.
Made using Corten weathering steel, the memorial is 102ft (31.09m) high, the wingspan of the iconic Avro Lancaster bomber, and the width at the base is 16ft (5m), the width of a Lancaster wing. It is now recognised as the UK's tallest war memorial.
The first phase of the project will include the names of 26,296 men who lost their lives serving in Bomber Command whilst serving as part of 1 and 5 Groups. These will be laser cut through Corten steel panels and fixed to curved steel walls arranged around the Memorial Spire in a radial, asymmetrical pattern. This phase was completed in September 2015 and was unveiled and dedicated on 2nd October 2015 with an invited audience of 2,600, including 312 Bomber veterans, thought to be the largest gathering since WW2, families of those named on the walls and key representatives of key nations involved with Bomber Command. The day was hosted by TV presenter and historian, Dan Snow, and the unveiling was undertaken by the Rt Hon The Lord Howe.
Following further research, which is being undertaken by a team of 100 volunteers, more walls will be built with the names of the Bomber Command aircrew who gave their lives flying from other Groups during the Second World War, bringing the total to 55,573 losses.