Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman have been unanimously selected to design the UK’s new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.
The firms were chosen over 92 international entrants and 10 finalists.
The decision was made by a jury of 13 including the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design, and both first and second generation Holocaust survivors.
The new UK Holocaust Memorial will be located next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, and will honour the six million Jewish men, women and children who were murdered in the Holocaust. It will also pay tribute to all other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, gay and disabled people.
Its co-located Learning Centre will contextualise the Memorial 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.
Research into the site inspired the winning design concept, with Sir David Adjaye describing the location as a “park of Britain’s conscience”. The Memorial links with the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, the Burghers of Calais and the Buxton Memorial: all four recognising injustice and the need to oppose it.
In order to maintain the green space, the team placed its Holocaust Memorial at the far southern end of the Gardens, embedded in the land.
The design concept takes visitors on a journey that culminates in confronting the 23 tall bronze fins of the memorial, the spaces in between representing the 22 countries where Jewish communities were destroyed during the Holocaust.
Entering the memorial is designed to be a sensory experience, as the 23 bronze fins require the visitor to enter in an isolated, solitary way.
Each path eventually leads down into the Threshold – a 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.