This is another project like the Garden Bridge that seemed a good idea but then when considered thoughtfully, would be too controversial and counterproductive. This does not mean that the Holocaust should not be memorialised as it has been in many countries, and especially in Berlin, Austria and at the Yad Vashem in Israel, but that this site is not appropriate for the memorial on a treasured and relaxing space on a UNESCO protected site next to Parliament that is in fact too small to hold such a serious monument that will become more of an 'attraction' fraught with security and maintenance difficulties.
There is already a Holocaust memorial and garden in Hyde Park, and the Imperial War Museum has grandiose plans in place to extend its already impressive Holocaust Exhibition galleries that fits all the aspects of a learning centre, which could work with the Holocaust Memorial Foundation. The UK was not responsible for the Holocaust , though its role during WWII in not bombing the train network to Auschwitz is scandalous. This could all be brought out on the IWM gallery, in the context of WWII and within a campus that could also include an impressive memorial.
Sadly none of the schemes in the competition were of the stature that befitted such a memorial, and the Adjaye/Arad scheme least so, looking like a giant toast rack, with massive fins and mounds around it, now including a sentry box entrance, which will block protected views of Parliament and the river and detract from the need to approach such a memorial building with dignity and calm -which this proposal does not produce.
The fact that many Jewish peers, whose families perished in the Holocaust and many Jews, religious and secular oppose this scheme gives us pause for thought.
The best memorial to the Holocaust is 'Never Again' for any people who are discriminated against, oppressed and dehumanised, and the money allocated for this would be better spent in education on this theme.
Let's hope that Westminster Council sees sense and turns this down.
I was tutored by Eldred Evans at the Regent Street Poly in the 1960s both at Intermediate and for my final thesis - it was Eldred who lit the spark for really understanding design -the importance of get the diagram of the scheme right, with the hierarchy of spaces -and I often benefited from having David Shalev join in on the scheme crits -and helping to further develop the approach to architecture, creating a sense of place, and treating the site as one building. You cannot think of one without the other -Eldred and David -and my heart goes out to Eldred and Ailantha for their loss. David will be fondly remembered for his superb architectural legacy that he and Eldred created to together, and will be missed by all who knew him as tutor and a friend.
Stephen Hodder's low mark of scuppering the democratic decision of Council to take action on a matter of deep professional ethics and principle against the practice of architecture by Israeli architects that defied every Article and Accord of the UIA, ( the architect's equivalent of the UN) will leave a stain on the RIBA that will forever haunt its portals. If that issue made Hodder feel sick, can you imagine how nauseating and depressing it was for those RIBA members who tried to bring such an important issue for upholding the UIA's ethics, for their institute to act on, that would have made a human, moral and ethical stand for justice for the Palestinians, who have been and continue to be dispossessed of their land and homes so that Israeli architects can build unrelentingly for one privileged section of a population, defying UN Resolutions, the Geneva Conventions, UIA Resolutions and the simplest principles of humanity.
It is obvious that Hodder, advised by Harry Rich, and a panoply of outside lobbyists, were given total preference, while those who brought the Motion, and who could have given serious expert advice, including the voice of Palestinians, were completely ignored and sidelined. This attitude was replicated all the way to the UIA Assembly at Durban in 2014, where the Resolution was kicked into the long grass and then disgracefully reversed at a subsequent RIBA Council.
Meanwhile, the illegal and violent settlement agenda, the apartheid practices of housing and building, the urbicide in Gaza and the destruction and stealing of Palestinian homes and land continues with greater ferocity to build housing for Israelis, which no RIBA set-up of supposed 'ethics committees' can have any effect or benefit.
This outrage cannot be assuaged until the RIBA re-instates the earlier Resolution and ensure that the action to suspend the Israeli Association of United Architects be debated and acted upon at a future UIA Council or Assembly.
This seems to be a consolidation of the Executive fiefdom -removing the true professionals from positions that might challenge its power. This is dangerous for the democratic functioning of a top professional institute.
The recent shameful reversal of a an extremely honourable Council Resolution regarding Israel's architects' collusion with an illegal occupation, and pursuing an architecture of discrimination and oppression against the Palestinians who are being cleansed out of their land, epitomises the distancing of the RIBA from the objectives of the Charter and its own principles of its Trust as a Charity- which is the advancement of architecture, and the consolidation of professional ethics both in the UK and on the international stage.
Instead, the Executive has enable outside lobbies and Trustee pressure to divert the course of true ethics, professional conduct and international law, bringing the reputation of the RIBA to disrepute.
This and other indications, such as what many feel was a dodgy report by the International Committtee, which disregarded the Palestinian architects' concerns, and instead involving itself even deeper with the Israeli architects who have still not condemned the horrendous escalation of illegal settlements and dispossession involved in their members' practice -show the direction in which this Executive is heading.
More tight control and an evasion of the real ethics and practice of architecture.
An investigation of this whole edifice is desperately needed, if the RIBA wishes to be a top rate professional body!
Lior Brosh -why do you always divert the argument to your confused and thoroughly twisted and propagandised view of the Israel/Palestine conflict that it is at complete odds with international law and the well documented war crimes, especially in housing and building that do not conform with Israel's vaunted democracy.
Why are you always citing other countries and regimes which are already being sanctioned and dealt with by the West, while Israel is let off with impunity with the protection of the US and UK. That is why Israel singles itself out. Why don't you raise a campaign for all these cases you suggest if you are so concerned about them?
Your is the project of hate. Hatred of the possibility that justice needs to be done in this long running and sadistic oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Hatred that sanctions are a peaceful and non-violent method of bringing about change using civil society and international law, where the big powers refuse to act, and instead combine with Israel's violence and participation in the arms industry and using the Palestinians to test these illegal and lethal weaponry and security equipment. It is Israel that has launched every war since 1948, to 1967, right upto the recent murderous slaughters and destruction in Gaza in 2006, 2008/9, 2012, 2014 -except for 1973. It is Israel that uses violence in its occupation, suppression of peaceful protest, its arrests of hundreds including children, its ongoing house demolitions, enforced removal of Bedouin and its land grabbing and intensification of illegal settlements in occupied, not disputed territory.
Sorry to disappoint you, but decent people everywhere, (Jewish and non-Jewish) and especially the academic and cultural world, and people of the highest esteem are joining together to call Israel to account, and instead of deriding them, you should spend time to examine your own conscience, protestations and distorted facts. Get acquainted with the facts -we can't say now that we did not know, with all the evidence availlable!