Shortlist for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre Announced
The ten designs shortlisted for the UK Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre International Competition were unveiled on 26th January 2017 at a private event at 10 Downing Street just prior to UK Holocaust Memorial Day. Both the Memorial and Learning Centre are to be situated in Victoria Tower Gardens, adjacent to the Houses of Parliament.
Event is proud to be on two of the ten teams shortlisted from nearly 100 entries from over 26 countries. The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation launched the international completion in September 2016 to identify the best design teams to create an emotionally powerful and sensitively designed Memorial and Learning Centre.
The new national Memorial will serve as the focal point of national commemoration of the Holocaust. The Learning Centre will be an important educational resource that will contextualise the Memorial and reinforce the ambition of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation to engage and inspire visitors. It will explore how hatred, prejudice and apathy led the Holocaust, how these may have led to subsequent genocides and the need to guard against them today.
The historic nature of the site and the public value of the existing amenity requires that while the Memorial must be visible, the Learning Centre must sit wholly below ground.
Event, together with Heneghen Peng Architects, have developed a powerful yet elegant concept that puts the voices of witnesses to the Holocaust at its centre. While the Memorial draws visitors down via a three-stage internal ramp to a commemorative triangular courtyard, apertures in the structure host the recorded voices of those who experienced the Holocaust and who found refuge in the UK. The Memorial thus serve as an ‘ear’ connecting visitors with first hand witnesses. According to Heneghan Peng, “emanating from individual voids along the walls of the Memorial, their sonic aggregate becomes a primary material of its sensory construction”.
A key feature of this proposal is that the Learning Centre is fully integrated with the Memorial structure. Galleries and threshold spaces feed straight off the courtyard, with the walls of the Memorial seen from inside the Learning Centre serving as dynamic interpretive surfaces. The triangular shape of the courtyard is reflected in the proportions of the gallery spaces, which provide dramatic opportunities for the deployment of exhibits and video testimonies.
Throughout the concept stage, Event has informed the design evolution of the proposal, providing expert guidance on interpretive potential and visitor circulation as well as shaping the narrative coherence between the Memorial and Learning Centre and its historic site. Unexpected vistas of the Houses of Parliament framed from within the courtyard reinforce the significance of the Memorial and Learning Centre to present-day processes of law-making and representative democracy. The designs are now available online and will be displayed at a number of venues across the UK for public comment and consultation.
Event is the leading experience design agency in Europe, recognised internationally for its consistent ingenuity, design and storytelling excellence and exemplary project management. We produce masterplans for museums, heritage attractions, cultural quarters as well as brand and corporate experiences. We create interpretive and interactive design concepts, along with full technical specification and creative direction of permanent and temporary exhibitions. We provide integrated programme and cost management for many of the world’s largest experience projects. A key to our success is the integrated way we work with clients to understand their brief and realise their ambitions.