In September 2016, on the advice of the United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation, the Department for Communities and Local Government launches an international two-stage design competition for a National Memorial to honour the victims and survivors of the Holocaust and Nazi persecution.
We encourage seasoned practices to combine with emerging talent. The teams should be structured under a lead consultant, who is an architect, identified within the submission.
The Memorial and Learning Centre will be specifically about the importance and relevance of the Holocaust to the United Kingdom, and the challenge for designers will be to think about how to create an original memorial that expresses the project’s design values (opposite), may have different aspects by day and night, and establishes an atmosphere or aura that prompts respect, reflection and active remembering. The project costs are estimated to be up to £40m (this is the cost of works, including contractor Preliminaries, OH&P, contingency, inflation, all professional fees, site preparation and VAT where applicable) – please see the Expression of Interest for more details.
The Learning Centre, expected to be circa 2,650m2, will not be a conventional exhibition or teaching centre. Instead, it will use the architecture, design and interpretation to set the Memorial in context and to convey the magnitude of what happened, whilst ensuring visitors leave the site with a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and its victims.
The first stage – which runs from Wednesday 14 September to Monday 17 October 2016 – is an open, global call for participation based on technical or professional capability and past experience.
A shortlist of up to six teams will be selected to move to Stage Two, and be asked to produce concept designs for the Memorial and Learning Centre. Following submission and initial assessment, a final interview with the Jury will be held to determine a winner. An honorarium of £15,000 will be awarded to each of the shortlisted teams following the selection of the winner.
The Memorial and Learning Centre should:
- Be an outstanding, ambitious, sensitive design that creates an emotionally powerful place for reflection and learning.
- Become a landmark of national significance, highlighting the importance and relevance of the Holocaust to the United Kingdom’s history.
- Establish a place where current and future generations can come to remember the Holocaust and commemorate its victims, and which is also a focal point for annual national commemorations.
- Affirm the United Kingdom’s commitment to stand up against prejudice and hatred, inspire reflection and compassion, and encourage visitors to respect and embrace difference.
- Be sombre but not shocking; convey the magnitude of what happened in a meaningful and comprehensible way: give visitors a deeper understanding of the Holocaust and its victims.
- Combine design, landscaping and place-making to enhance Victoria Tower Gardens – improving the visual and sensory experience of the green space, giving it focus and civic presence, both for visitors and existing users.
- Be a logical and harmonious addition to the existing memorials in the Gardens, all of which can be viewed as a physical representation of the United Kingdom’s conscience and values.
- Address the sensitivities of the historic, political and national importance of the exceptional setting, adjacent to the Palace of Westminster, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the River Thames – and in one of the most visited, and recognisable parts of London.
- Be widely accessible and communicate to all visitors – regardless of age, faith, background, nationality, language, or knowledge of the Holocaust – attracting and involving people outside the established audience.
- Convey the enormity of the Holocaust and its impact, reflecting the centrality of the destruction of European Jewry to Nazi objectives.
- Appropriately represent the fate of all other victims of Nazi persecutions, Roma, disabled people, Slavs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, homosexuals, and all other political opponents of the Nazi regime
For full details of the Brief, please see the Expression of Interest document. To read about the second stage of the process, please see the draft Tender Brief, provided for information only at the first stage
The competition is organised by the London-based international design competition consultancy, Malcolm Reading Consultants.
The design challenge is to create an outstanding and sensitively-designed Memorial and Learning Centre that is emotionally powerful while offering visitors an opportunity to deepen their understanding of humanity’s darkest hour. For some survivors – and those whose lives were affected by the Holocaust – survival stories can reveal glimmers of hope about human nature; for others, to perceive this moment in history as anything but unbearable is to compromise the Holocaust’s implacability.
This is a two-stage international design competition and is being run in accordance with EU procurement guidelines and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. This competition has been advertised in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
No design is required at the first stage. Initially, competitors are invited to submit an Expression of Interest – the deadline for this is: 14:00 BST Monday 17 October 2016.
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