After being granted planning permission for UK’s Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre designed by Adjaye Associates, together with Ron Arad Architects and Gustafson Porter + Bowman, the UK court has decided to halt the project following a legal dispute. The decision comes after an appeal made by the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, local community groups, Jewish leaders, and Holocaust survivors, who all argued the project is being built in the wrong location.
The project was set to be built within Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament, a site that has been debated in the past couple of years. The opposing team claimed that "the development would have an impact on the heritage setting, including the Buxton memorial celebrating the abolition of slavery". In addition to its historic significance, the proposal breaches a 1900 law states “a prohibition on using Victoria Tower Gardens as anything other than a garden open to the public”.
Although first developed in 2017, the project has been stalled by public opposition concerning the chosen site and the loss of green space. A revised design has been revealed in 2019 and was given approval mid-2021 after a public inquiry. Construction of the project was expected to begin this year, and be completed by 2025, but will now be put on hold following the official decision.
The memorial, which is the UK's first national holocaust memorial, features a series of bronze fins marking the entrance pavilion, paired with an underground educational center. The project aims to honor the 6 million Jewish people who have fallen victim to the Nazi regime, while also commemorating the persecution of Roma, gay, and disabled people.
News via The Guardian