26 September 2017 News

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Anish Kapoor, Zaha Hadid Architects and Sophie Walker Studio have been named finalists for the UK Holocaust Memorial Competition.

In September 2016, on the advice of the United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation, the Department for Communities and Local Government launched an international two-stage design competition for a National Memorial to honour the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. The winner will be decided this autumn.

On their proposal, the artist, architecture firm and landscape designer note:

“Our project, for the Holocaust Memorial in London, starts with a Memorial Grove of Cypress trees that lead to the National Monument, which is an abstracted form in the shape of a vast rock or meteorite. It sits half buried in the site and is to be viewed from an underground gallery or memorial hall, in which the object hovers above the viewer with a looming presence.

Also at this level, the exhibition space and the other public amenities can be accessed. Above ground the memorial can be entered through an opening in the form. It leads to an inner chamber, which is a perfect sphere. This is intended as a space of contemplation and it is our intention that it should be silent and at a low luminosity.

Meteorites, mountains and stones are often at the centre if places of reflection, especially in the Jewish tradition. They call on the vastness of nature to be a witness to our humanity.

A memorial to the Holocaust must be contemplative and silent, such that it evokes our empathy. It must be a promise to future generations that this terrible chapter in human history can never occur again.”

Watch Kapoor discussing the full proposal here.