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AJ exclusive: model photos of Holocaust memorial finalists

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The AJ can exclusively reveal the models submitted by all 10 finalists in the contest to design a £40 million national Holocaust memorial next to the Palace of Westminster

The proposals for the new landmark to honour those killed in Nazi concentration camps have been devised by some of architecture’s biggest names, including David Adjaye, Zaha Hadid Architects and Norman Foster.

Although visuals of the finalists’ concepts for the new structure in London’s Victoria Tower Gardens were first revealed in January, the physical models of the designs have never been published.

The competition brief included the construction of a 2,650m2 subterranean learning centre which could house recordings of testimony from British Holocaust survivors and camp liberators.

Image by malcolm reading consultants and emily whitfield wicks2

Image by malcolm reading consultants and emily whitfield wicks2

Source: Emily Whitfield Wicks

The site for the proposed memorial has come in for criticism, most notably in February from Conservative MP Edward Leigh who warned that the riverside plot was too small, prone to flooding, and that the scheme would set a ’dangerous precedent’ for parks in London.

He also voiced concern over the subterranean learning centre, arguing that the site faced ‘serious drainage problems’ and that 50 nearby properties were flooded after heavy rain in June last year.

Architecture critic Joseph Rykwert, who was born in Warsaw and moved to England in 1939 to escape Nazi persecution, has also spoken out  about the location. He previously told the AJ: ‘With all its inevitably overscaled outworks and signage [a memorial] would disembowel the precious public space at a crucial point by Parliament, which is itself now constrained by the inevitable security outworks.

’That the ground – like the Palace of Westminster itself – is subject to flooding, all the recent flood defences notwithstanding, means that documents would in any case be at risk there.’

Meanwhile a petition against building the structure on the park has already attracted more than 1,300 signatures. Barbara Weiss, a co-founder of campaign group Save Victoria Tower Gardens who helped set up the petition, is urging the government to choose another site, such as the nearby College Green or the Imperial War Museum, where there is a permanent Holocaust exhibition.

Last month a number of leading Jewish academics also questioned the location, expenditure and thinking behind the proposed memorial at Westminster.

But defending the government’s choice of site earlier in the year, communities minister Andrew Percy said: ‘The plans to build a new Holocaust memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens have support not only from the prime minister, but from across the political spectrum.

’The promise that all parties made to our Holocaust survivors was that we would create a striking and iconic memorial, and there is nowhere more striking and iconic than next to our parliament in Westminster.’

Organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, the competition attracted almost 100 entries from 26 countries. The shortlisted designs have now been be shown at a number of venues across the UK and a winner is expected to be announced later this year.

The designs for the memorial will be judged by a high-profile jury, chaired by Peter Bazalgette, including communities secretary Sajid Javid, mayor of London Sadiq Khan, the chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis, and broadcaster Natasha Kaplinsky.

A recent exhibition in manchester of all the finalists in the holocaust memorial competition

Shortlisted teams in full

  • Adjaye Associates (UK) with Ron Arad Associates, Gustafson Porter + Bowman, DHA, All Clear, Accept & Proceed, Abigail Morris, and Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Allied Works (USA) with Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Robert Montgomery, OLIN, and Lisa Strausfeld
  • Caruso St John (UK) with Rachel Whiteread, Marcus Taylor, Vogt Landscape Architects, Arup Lighting Design, and David Bonnett Associates
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects (CA) with Martha Schwartz Partners, and Ralph Appelbaum Associates
  • Foster + Partners (UK) with Michal Rovner and Future\Pace, Local Projects, Avner Shalev, Simon Schama, Samantha Heywood, Tillotson Design Associates, David Bonnett Associates, and Whybrow
  • Heneghan Peng Architects (IE) with Gustafson Porter, Event, Bruce Mau Design, BuroHappold Engineering, Bartenbach, and Duncan Boddy (PFB Construction)
  • John McAslan + Partners (UK) with MASS Design Group, DP9, London Communications Agency, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Local Projects, Modus Operandi, JencksSquared, and Lily Jencks Studio
  • Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects (FI) with David Morley Architects, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, and Hemgård Landscape Design
  • Studio Libeskind (US) with Haptic Architects, Martha Schwartz Partners, Lord Cultural Resources, BuroHappold Engineering, Alan Baxter, Garbers & James, and James E. Young
  • Zaha Hadid Architects (UK) with Anish Kapoor, Event London, Sophie Walker Studio, Lord Cultural Resources, Arup Lighting Design, Whybrow, and Access=Design

Jury in full

  • Peter Bazalgette (chair) Chair, United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation and Chair, ITV Board
  • Ephraim Mirvis Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom
  • Sajid Javid MP Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • Sadiq Khan Mayor of London
  • Ben Helfgot, Holocaust Survivor, honorary president, ’45 Aid Society and president, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
  • Sally Osman Director of Royal Communications
  • Loyd Grossman Chair of Royal Parks
  • Alice M Greenwald Director, National September 11 Memorial and Museum
  • Daniel Finkelstein Journalist
  • Baroness Kidron Film director and crossbench peer
  • Dame Julia Peyton-Jones Former director of the Serpentine Galleries
  • Paul Williams Director, Stanton Williams Architects
  • Charlotte Cohen Prime Minister’s Holocaust Youth Commissioner
  • Natasha Kaplinsky Broadcaster. Kaplinsky recently recorded the testimonies of more than 100 Holocaust survivors and camp liberators.


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