United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Competition

An international design competition was held in the United Kingdom to build a National Memorial, honouring the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. The Memorial’s site, in Victoria Tower Gardens, is situated alongside the Houses of Parliament—adjacent to the River Thames.

Our response gradually reveals the power of the opposing forces: unimaginable horror and unlimited compassion, from light to darkness and from darkness to light. Thematically, it also explores immeasurable loss and emptiness through creating a void in the landscape. Here, the absence is present.

This Holocaust Memorial, sombre and solemn, embraces visitors at the entrance with dark walls. They gradually circle around the heart of the Memorial through a helical ramp. They are immersed in a contemplative environment—mostly silent—except for recitation of the names of the victims. Moreover, the cast-iron walls of the enclosure are textured with a bas-relief of six million small rectangular nuggets, providing some comprehension of the magnitude of the Holocaust’s toll. At its heart, sunken three and a half metres below grade, is a vast space, a ‘Court of Conscience.’ It is light-filled, open to the sky, with a view of Victoria Tower, revealing democratic values and tolerance.

Client United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation
Completion 2017

With Ralph Appelbaum Associates, Martha Schwartz Partners and Arup

Awards See all project awards
2018 Architizer A+ Awards – Jury winner, Cultural-Unbuilt Category
2018 American Society of Architectural Illustrators – Thomas Schaller Juror Award
Team See full project team