Ron Arad RA, Early Sketch for the UK National Holocaust Memorial 01-04

Early Sketch for the UK National Holocaust Memorial 01-04, 2017

Ron Arad RA (b. 1951)

RA Collection: Art

This image is one of four early sketches for the competition to design the UK National Holocaust Memorial. This digital image was created by Ron Arad Architects, and the proposal was awarded the commission in October 2017, developed by Ron Arad Architects in collaboration with Adjaye Associates and Gustafson, Porter + Bowman. The memorial will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Houses of Parliament in London, due to be completed in 2024.

The memorial will feature a steadily rising mound which visitors can ascend via a meandering path, before encountering a hidden cliff edge. The mound will be supported by huge patinated bronze walls which themselves enclose 22 narrow paths, each representing a country whose Jewish community was decimated by the Holocaust. The paths each direct visitors to a set of steps, leading down below the mound to an area for learning and contemplation. As well as remembering the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, the memorial will also be a space for commemorating other communities and individuals persecuted by the Nazis, including Roma, homosexual and disabled people.

The design for the memorial is intended to be inclusive and to resonate with audiences of all ages and backgrounds. The semi-abstract nature of this digital drawing reflects the fluid interpretation of the memorial and how each visitor will experience it in a unique and personal way.

Positioned close to the Houses of Parliament, the memorial seeks to evoke contemplation about all human tragedies, and the ongoing struggle for equality and human rights. Moreover, the memorial will stand alongside important monuments that are already located in Victoria Tower Gardens, including the Buxton Memorial which commemorates the abolition of slavery in the British Empire and a statue of Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the British suffragettes.

Each of this series of four sketches depicts the proposed memorial from different perspectives, emphasising its prominence in central London and the multiple viewpoints from which it can be experienced. This sketch shows Victoria Tower Gardens viewed from the River Thames, with the memorial at the left side of the image. The green mound sloping upwards and the orange-brown bronze walls of the memorial provide one of the only elements of colour in the sketch. This might imply the strong visual presence of the planned memorial and of its emotive pull in the urban landscape. The swirling lines of the riverside trees contrast with the rigid buildings of the Houses of Parliament at the right. This sketch reiterates how the memorial will be experienced from afar as well as close up, its impact spreading wider than its immediate surroundings.

Further reading

Object details

Early Sketch for the UK National Holocaust Memorial 01-04
Ron Arad RA (b. 1951)
Object type
Architectural design
Copyright owner

520 mm x 720 mm x 100 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Ron Arad RA accepted 2018

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