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Parks Authority Officially Objects to Holocaust Memorial

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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The run-around surrounding David Adjaye’s Holocaust Memorial plans continues as London’s Royal Parks authority, the charity that manages the Parks, has officially objected to the Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects’ proposal to build the memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens.

This comes directly on the heels of comments Adjaye made in an interview speaking out against criticism of the site choice, saying: “We have the opportunity to activate the entire site and talk directly to [Parliament], hold it accountable. … Disrupting the pleasure of being in a park is key to the thinking.”

Background

The team of Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects was selected in October 2017 after the United Kington launched an international design competition that saw 92 entries.

U.K. Holocaust Memorial Foundation

The run-around surrounding David Adjaye’s Holocaust Memorial plans continues as London’s Royal Parks authority, the charity that manages the Parks, has officially objected to the Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects’ proposal to build the memorial in Victoria Tower Gardens.

According to officials, the 13-person jury chose the Adjaye project unanimously.

“The jury was unanimous in awarding this competition to Sir David Adjaye and his highly skilled and passionate team,” said Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of the U.K. Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the competition jury.

The design features 23 tall bronze fins with the 22 spaces in between them representing the 22 countries in which Jewish communities were devastated during the Holocaust.

“Entering the Memorial will be a sensory experience,” the firm’s design description notes. “While the outside and inside space emphasizes collective gathering, the 23 bronze fins require the visitor to enter in solitude and isolation, providing a highly individual pathway and experience.”

“The complexity of the Holocaust story, including the British context, is a series of layers that have become hidden by time," Adjaye explained. "Our approach to the project has been to reveal these layers and not let them remain buried under history. To do so, we wanted to create a living place, not just a monument to something of the past. We wanted to orchestrate an experience that reminds us of the fragility and constant strife for a more equitable world.”

Most recently, Adjaye spoke to The Times about the location critique, noting that there are already two memorials in the park and stressing the importance of having the monument near Parliament.

What Now

Groups opposed to the decision say that it will disrupt the garden. Now, it appears that the Royal Parks charity agrees, arguing that the site is not an “appropriate location.”

The planning application is still under review in Westminster Council and now so are several objections.

According to the Architects’ Journal, the Royal Parks objection letter reads: “Overall the somber nature of the memorial, the large structure and the necessary security measures around the curtilage of the Victoria Tower Gardens will change the nature of what is currently a relaxed park alongside a unique riverside location.”

There have reportedly been 529 objections officially lodged to date. There has not been any official word from the authority.

The monument still has an estimated completion date of 2021, and will use 50 million pounds ($66.2 million) of public money for funding.

   

Tagged categories: Aesthetics; Architecture; Color + Design; Color + Design; Design; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); Monuments; Museums; Public spaces

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