In London a new urban landmark will stand next to the Palace of Westminster (the Houses of Parliament) and will be designed by a team led by architect David Adjaye. An international competition to design the Holocaust Memorial in London has recently ended. The jury, made up of architecture experts representing institutions and civil society, together with survivors of the Holocaust, have unanimously chosen a design by Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and landscape architects Gustafson Porter + Bowman.
The memorial will be dedicated to the six million Jews and other victims like gypsies, gays and the disabled, persecuted and murdered by the Nazis. The expression Historia magistra vitae from Cicero’s De Oratore , will be extremely pertinent, because the memorial will be joined by an education centre where the facts of the Shoah will be the key to exploring different forms of hate and prejudice in modern society, from anti-Semitism to Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and all kinds of extremist views.
“Architecture as emotion” is the key to interpreting the design, offered by the architect himself, David Adjaye. The aim is to provide visitors with a place where they can stop and experience something more than a mere monument to historical facts. The memorial will only be revealed at the end of the gardens, set in the earth. At the end of a path through the gardens, the visitor will find themselves faced with 23 bronze ‘fins’, which will mark out the entrances, forcing them to pass through one at a time, to access the large room and Learning Centre below ground. Everything has been organised to create an experience that recalls the fragility of peace and the need for constant commitment towards a fairer world.
Architects: Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects
Landscape design: Gustafson Porter + Bowman
Place: London, UK
Images: © Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects
Video: Design Concept © Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects