Two-stage contest announced after PMQs

An international design competition was launched today for a UK Holocaust Memorial beside Parliament.

The national memorial, which will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, was welcomed by Theresa May at prime minister’s questions in Parliament today.

The two-stage competition, which is being organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, invites expressions of interest from designers, architects and artists.

Shortlisted teams will be asked to submit two-part designs, one for the memorial and one for a possible subterranean learning centre.

Stanton Williams, Mace and WYG worked with DCLG to survey the site and ensure a potential development below ground was feasible.

The project will also involve landscaping of the Thames-side gardens where Feilden & Mawson’s parliamentary education centre opened last summer.

The learning centre would contextualise the memorial and contain information such as recordings of British Holocaust survivors and camp liberators, some of them speaking for the first time.

More than 50 sites were considered for the memorial after the Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission recommended a permanent memorial, a learning centre and an urgent programme to record survivors’ and liberators’ testimonies. One possibility now ruled out was at Millbank Tower, now the subject of a John McAslan & Partners revamp.

Malcolm Reading of Malcolm Reading Consultants, said: “There could hardly be a more precious or resonant setting for the memorial. The competition is a global search for talent, for an inspired design team, who can bring the highest architectural skills to this emblematic site – within breathing distance of the Westminster Unesco World Heritage Site and at the heart of democracy in the UK.

“The successful shortlisted teams will need to excel in design, interpretation and landscape and above all combine a profound understanding of the project’s values with exceptional place making.”

An independent jury will be appointed and the finalists’ concept designs will be exhibited for public feedback. The winning design team will be announced next summer.

The deadline for EOIs is October 17 and more information is available from the competition website.