Adjaye, Arad and Gustafson among team chosen to design UK Holocaust Memorial

A British team consisting of Adjaye Associates, Ron Arad Architects and landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman have been selected to design the UK’s Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre.

Located next to the Houses of Parliament, the memorial will honour the six million Jewish, Roma, gay and disabled people murdered in the Holocaust.

Sir David Adjaye, founder of Adjaye Associates, said: "The complexity of the Holocaust story, including the British context, is a series of layers that have become hidden by time.

"Our approach has been to reveal these layers and not let them remain buried under history. To do so, we wanted to create a living place, not just a monument to something of the past."

The project’s design contains 23 tall bronze fins, with the spaces between representing the 22 countries from which Jewish communities were deported to death camps.

According to the architects, visitors will enter in solitude and isolation, but will meet up in a hall that will lead to a subterranean Learning Centre. The centre includes a "hall of testimonies" and a "Contemplation Court" with eight bronze panels.

The centre aims to "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" according to the UK government’s brief.

A jury including the mayor of London, the chief rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design and Holocaust survivors chose the winning team from 92 entries and 10 finalists. The winning team’s proposal was praised for its creation of "an immersive journey for the visitor who would enter a memorial embedded in the land".

The jury awarded honourable mentions to two teams – Heneghan Peng Architects and Sven Anderson, and Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The UK government will contribute £50m to the scheme.

Images courtesy of Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects

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