However good the design, Victoria Tower Gardens is the wrong place for London’s Second Holocaust Memorial:
- It is a classic London park, made before sport became a dominant aspect of park design. It was designed for local residents to be at peace in a quiet green environment
- Parks should not be regarded as vacant land that can be used for building projects. They are key components of a city’s green infrastructure. The 2017 London Draft Environment Strategy calls for London’s green cover to be raised from 47% to 50%. There is no mention of it being OK to build on historic parkland.
- The initiative for the establishment of Victoria Tower Gardens came from a private benefactor: WH Smith (who also had the idea of placing newsagents beside railway stations). Benefactors should be encouraged. Their gifts should be respected.
- London has very few Thamesside parks. They should be conserved.
- The Westminster Area is thronged with tourists. It will not benefit from the extra 1 million/year predicted visitors to the Second Holocaust Memorial.
- The design brief for the competition was badly conceived and insensitive to landscape considerations. Public parks should not be ‘sombre’. They should be places of joy.
- As argued in the video, below, the symbolism of placing a Holocaust Museum and Information Centre underground is completely wrong. Great evil should be exposed to the full light of day, to the sun, to the wind and to the rain.
- The Imperial War Museum has a Holocaust section that already attracts almost 1 million visitors/year. It is opening a new wing in 2020. The IWM is highly experienced in the management of historical information.
- There is a section of Hyde Park called the Dell Garden. It has no public access at present and adjoins London’s first Holocaust Memorial. The Dell could be re-designed as a Holocaust Memorial Garden, relating to London’s First Holocaust Memorial.