The UK's new Holocaust Memorial by Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects is facing criticism for the location of the project from local residents and the Royal Parks. An application for the memorial and learning center is being considered by Westminster City Council, and a petition calling for the protection of the green space is already signed by more than 11,000 members of the public. Planned for Victoria Tower Gardens alongside the River Thames close to the Houses of Parliament, the project is made to be dedicated to the 6 million Jewish men, women and children and other victims murdered by the Nazis.
The Royal Parks, which looks after Victoria Tower Gardens, said it opposed the application in a letter to the local authority this week, the Guardian reports. The letter describes the gardens as a “highly sensitive location in planning and heritage terms," and the Royal Parks says that the new design will cause “significant harmful impacts” on the “character and function of the park." The £50 million project was initiated by David Cameron and the winning design was announced in 2017 by a panel of judges including Ephraim Mirvis, Ben Helfgott and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
The new project is designed to include a structure of 23 large bronze fins and a learning center located underground. The center is made to "contextualize 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 competition organizers, the project's location next to Parliament was selected to "ask questions about the role of society and its institutions in encouraging respect for others and preventing hatred."
Defending the project in The Times, Adjaye said, "We have the opportunity to activate the entire site and talk directly to parliament, hold it accountable," he said. "Disrupting the pleasure of being in a park is key to the thinking." Save Victoria Gardens (SVTG) has led the campaign against the project, with 529 objections now lodged with Westminster’s planning authorities.
Sir David Adjaye and Ron Arad Architects Selected to Design UK's New Holocaust Memorial in Central London
A proposal by Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects, with Gustafson Porter + Bowman, has been announced as the successful design for the UK's new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Center.