Standing Up to Hatred: Adjaye’s Holocaust Memorial

The final design for the UK’s national Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre has been published. We look at how the Adjaye Associates-designed structure is set to reaffirm the country’s responsibility to stand up to anti-Semitism, prejudice and hatred

Sat alongside the UK Parliament, the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre is a competition-winning design by Adjaye Associates, led by Sir David Adjaye, with Ron Arad Architects as memorial architect.

It is designed to place the Holocaust within the British narrative, providing a space to for visitors to critically reflect on the country’s role in the atrocities, and will include an exhibition that will provide both education and remembrance. 

The scheme is designed to be both sensitive and impactful, featuring a multipurpose courtyard area that leads to an underground space, which will be home to the exhibition. It will also include an update to the children’s play area currently on the site, and the installation of a new café kiosk.

Considerable efforts have been made to retain the existing Victoria Tower Gardens, including plans to improve tree heath and planting. This includes a sensitive landscaping plan by landscape architect Gustafson Porter + Bowman.

“At the core of the proposed Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre is a commitment to learn from this darkest chapter in our history, to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to explore the universal lessons of the Holocaust as a reminder of where hatred, intolerance and prejudice can lead if left unchecked,” said UK Holocaust Memorial co-Chair, the Rt. Hon the Lord Pickles, of the scheme.  

“Complementing the many high-quality and committed institutions already engaged in Holocaust education and commemoration, the new Memorial and its exhibition will broaden and deepen understanding of the Holocaust across the whole nation.”