Marble Arch architecture firm wins bid to design UK’s Holocaust memorial
24 October 2017
We are bursting with pride to announce that local Marble Arch architecture firm, Adjaye Associates, has won the bid to design the UK’s Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre. The selection process included an international competition, with 92 entries in total and ten finalists. Teaming up with Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Adjaye Associates were unanimously selected by a Jury including the UK’s Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi as well as first and second generation Holocaust survivors and architecture and design experts.
The design team will be led by British architect, Sir David Adjaye, whose offices are located in the Marble Arch London BID area and are known for creating sensitive yet compelling designs. His recent work includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and the Idea Stores in London’s Tower Hamlets. Adjaye Associates and the rest of the design team have planned the nation’s Holocaust Memorial to be an immersive experience and living space, not simply a statue of remembrance. Adjaye Associates describe the memorial stating,
“The design concept takes the visitor on a journey that culminates in confronting 23 tall bronze fins, the spaces in between representing the 22 countries in which Jewish communities were devastated during the Holocaust. Entering the Memorial will be a sensory experience. While the outside and inside space emphasises collective gathering, the 23 bronze fins require the visitor to enter in solitude and isolation, providing a highly individual pathway and experience. Each path eventually leads down into the Threshold – a generous hall which acts as a place of contemplation and transition into the Learning Centre below ground. The Learning Centre includes a “hall of testimonies” and a “Contemplation Court”: a silent, reflective space with eight bronze panels. On leaving the Memorial, the circulation route ensures visitors will emerge to see the classic uninterrupted view of Parliament – and the reality of democracy.”
Located next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, the new UK Holocaust Memorial will honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust, and all other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, gay and disabled people.
Its co-located Learning Centre will contextualise the memorial above and use the stories and facts of the Holocaust to explore anti-Semitism, extremism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and other forms of hatred and prejudice in society today. From its location next to Parliament, it will ask questions about the role of society and its institutions in encouraging respect for others and preventing hatred.