London – Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects with Gustafson Porter + Bowman have been selected to design the new London Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre in Victoria Tower Gardens. The venue 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.
“The proposal for London Holocaust memorial aims to create a living place, not just a monument to something of the past. We wanted to orchestrate an experience that reminds us of the fragility and constant strife for a more equitable world.” Says David Adjaye to Archipanic.
Located at the far southern end of the Victoria Tower Gardens, the Holocaust Memorial, is embedded in the land. Visitors approaching the venue will see a subtle grass landform with only the tips of the Memorial’s fins bristling in the distance. “The its design provides a sense of intrigue, encouragement and desire for visitors to find out more”.
The design concept takes visitors on a journey that culminates in confronting 23 tall bronze fins the spaces in between represent the 22 countries in which Jewish communities were devastated during the Holocaust. Entering the Memorial guests will be embraced by 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.
All images by Adjayes Associates and Ron Arad.