Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects

With Gustafson Porter + Bowman, Plan A and DHA Designs

We have approached the National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre as an opportunity to unearth the complexity of the Holocaust story, which we see as a series of layers that have become hidden by time. Our proposal aims to reveal these layers not through a static symbol commemorating the past, but through an organic living monument that evolves over time, capable of both affecting and being affected by its users.

Our design integrates Learning Centre, Memorial and landscape into a multifaceted holistic sensorial and emotive journey. Through a careful sequencing of highly immersive spaces that intentionally juxtapose moments of solitary engagement with moments of collective gathering, our design envelops the visitor in the physical, intellectual and emotional experience of the Holocaust trauma. In so doing, we have resisted traditional notions of dictation in favour of encouraging visitors to draw personal meaning and purpose out of tragedy.