Revealed: Winning design for Westminster Holocaust memorial

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Revealed: Winning design for Westminster Holocaust memorial

British architect Sir David Adjaye and Israeli designer Ron Arad are unanimously selected to take on an ambitious project to build by parliament

Jenni Frazer is a freelance journalist

  • View from the South
    View from the South
  • View from the Thames
    View from the Thames
  • Threshold
  • Journey through
    Journey through
  • The Hall of Voices
    The Hall of Voices
  • Front View of the chosen design for the Holocaust memorial
    Front View of the chosen design for the Holocaust memorial
  • Contemplation Court
    Contemplation Court
  • An arial plan of the new memorial and learning centre
    An arial plan of the new memorial and learning centre
  • Arial view at Night
    Arial view at Night

The new Holocaust memorial in Westminster will be built by the leading British architect Sir David Adjaye and the Israeli designer Ron Arad, it was announced today.

Sir David and Mr Arad’s team, together with Gustafson Porter +Bowman, were unanimously selected by a jury which included the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Mayor of London, the Chief Rabbi, experts from architecture, art and design, and both first and second generation Holocaust survivors

The Ghanaian-born Sir David’s recent work includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC and the Idea Stores in London’s Tower Hamlets.

Sited next to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, the new UK Holocaust Memorial will honour the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, and all other victims of Nazi persecution, including Roma, gay and disabled people.

The proposed Learning Centre, next to the Memorial building, will use the stories and facts of the Holocaust to explore antisemitism, extremism, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia and other forms of hatred and prejudice in society today.

An arial plan of the new memorial and learning centre
An aerial plan of the new memorial and learning centre

The jury praised the winning team’s proposal to create “a living place, not just a monument to something of the past”, and the desire to create an immersive journey for the visitor who will enter a memorial embedded in the land.

Jewish News asked Israeli Ron Arad, part of the winning design team, why he had sought to enter the competition for the Holocaust Memorial in the first place. Mr Arad, who is based in London, was emotional after watching a short film which was a montage of Holocaust survivors’ faces and voices, urging support for the project. He said: “In Israel we are deluged with information about the Holocaust, and I thought I was immune. I have just learned that I am not immune.”

Survivor Ben Helfgott, MBE, who was a member of the jury, said: “I am very proud of my involvement in the many key Holocaust education projects in the UK over recent decades, none more so than this vital UK national Memorial and Learning Centre in its uniquely significant location next to the Mother of Parliaments.

The Hall of Voices
The Hall of Voices

“As we — the youngest survivors — pass on the baton of remembrance, we are delighted to see this wonderful design team deliver a Memorial and Learning Centre which will resonate for generations.”

Olivia Marks-Woldman, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, said: ‘The UK Holocaust Memorial will be a fitting tribute to the six million Jews who were murdered in occupied Europe during the Holocaust, and to the survivors who rebuilt their lives in the UK, contributing so much to British life.

We look forward to working with the UKHMF, to ensure that the Memorial plays a central role in the national and local commemorations that the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust runs every year, all around the country.’

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, said: “We are fortunate that ten world leading design teams decided to enter this competition – all with a very impressive vision for this memorial, which will stand for generations to come. This memorial will be a tribute to both the victims and the Holocaust survivors who have rebuilt their lives in the UK, but beyond this, it will be a focal point for people from all walks of life to engage and learn about the Holocaust – more important than ever in today’s world. Congratulations to the Adjaye Associates team who will deliver on this crucial mission.”

Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “The design is at once sympathetic to its setting and also appropriately disruptive. Our hope is that the finished memorial will provide a fitting monument to the suffering of the victims of the Shoah.”

“We pay tribute to the distinguished judging panel which has painstakingly examined and scrutinised a large number of very high quality designs and performed the difficult task of selecting the deserving winner.

“We warmly welcome the commitment that the Government has shown to recognising the enormity of the Shoah and its lessons for humanity. The memorial’s location at the heart of political life in our capital city underscores its significance and the particular responsibility of our politicians to stand up to hatred, particularly in these days of rising populism and extremism.

“A memorial on its own would be devoid of context and would fail to convey meaning. We therefore strongly support combining the memorial with a learning centre so that the true facts of the cruelty and mass murder that characterised the Holocaust, and its lessons about the importance of opposing prejudice, can be effectively brought home to future generations.”

Jonathan Goldstein, Chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “We are thrilled that the new National Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre is a step closer, following today’s announcement of the winning design.

“At a time when hate crime is on the rise, it is more important than ever to educate about the consequences of unchecked and senseless hatred. This iconic memorial will not only be a reminder of where hate can lead but also a symbol of where we as a country stand on this issue. Having a memorial in the heart of our democracy, next to the Houses of Parliament – where our laws are made and scrutinised –sends a very clear message that hatred has no place in Britain and will be challenged at every juncture.

“We want to thank the Prime Minister for seeing through the work of her predecessor and for recognising the importance of educating on the tragedies of the Holocaust.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: