The winners of the design competition for the UK’s new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre have been announced today. Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects, along with landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman, will design the national monument, located next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster on a site in Victoria Tower Gardens.
The design calls for 23 tall bronze fins to be embedded in the land at the southern end of the Gardens. The 22 gaps between each fin, which represent the number of countries whose Jewish populations were destroyed during the Holocaust, serve as paths into the sunken entry hall. This “Threshold,” as its called, leads, in turn, to the subgrade learning center, which will include a “hall of testimonies” and a “Contemplation Court,” where eight bronze panels invite visitors to think and reflect in silence.
Praising the team's proposal for creating “a living place as well as a respectful memorial to the past and its surroundings,” the jury’s decision to select the team led by Sir David Adjaye was unanimous. In a statement, the architect said, “We wanted to orchestrate an experience that reminds us of the fragility and constant strife for a more equitable world.”
The international competition, which launched in January 2017, received 92 entries from teams spanning 26 countries. The jury gave honorable mention to two of the ten shortlisted groups: Heneghan Peng Architects and Sven Anderson, and Diamond Schmitt Architects. Other finalists included Allied Works; Anish Kapoor and Zaha Hadid Architects; Caruso St John Architects; Marcus Taylor and Rachel Whiteread; Foster + Partners and Michal Rovner; John McAslan + Partners and MASS Design Group; Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects and David Morley Architects; and Studio Libeskind and Haptic Architects.
The British government has committed £50 million to the Memorial and Learning Centre project, which is slated for completion by 2021.