UK National Holocaust Memorial
Victoria Tower Gardens, London
The competition entry is the result of a close and iterative process of collaboration between Ron Arad Architects, Adjaye Associates and Gustafson, Porter + Bowman as Landscape Architects.
The National Holocaust Memorial honours victims and survivors of events now reaching the edge of living memory. It evokes shared experiences which defy abstraction or simplification, but must also be inclusive, relevant and resonant with a broader and younger audience.
A gently meandering path leads across a gradually rising hill, inviting ascending visitors for views of the river and Westminster. It is then revealed as a cliff edge over a fractured landscape, held up by tall patinated bronze walls which inscribe 22 paths - one for each country in which Jewish communities were decimated during the Holocaust. Both cohesive and fragmented, the paths are a shared experience only from afar; the journey through them is experienced individually, as visitors are led down into the threshold below - a space for contemplation and transition.
The visceral, non-verbal experience, in close proximity to the bastion of democracy, may inspire future generations to connect the events of the Holocaust to other human tragedies of other times and places, and take a stance on wider issues of human rights and freedoms.