“I think it’s important for architecture to be one of the devices that’s not about propagating fictions about history and how history is written,” he said.
“When your monuments contradict the narratives that have been projected, it breaks the illusion.”
Holocaust memorial can stop people denying history
Adjaye’s design for the UK Holocaust Museum in London, which is currently at the planning stage, has caused controversy. In particular, opponents have objected to its location next to the Palace of Westminster.
Designed in collaboration with Ron Arad Associates, the museum proposal features 23 bronze fins marking the entrance to a space sunken into Victoria Tower Gardens.
A poll released days before the interview for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January revealed the shocking statistic that five per cent of British adults do not believe the Holocaust took place. Adjaye said he was shocked by this news.
“I think it’s such an appropriate site next to parliament. I’m not interested in anybody emerging into power and denying the past,” he said.
“This monument forces that conversation to not be possible, at least around the edifice of Parliament. I don’t want somebody to be able to stand in front of parliament and deny certain truths.”
Smithsonian needed to counter rising white nationalism
In 2016 Adjaye Associates completed the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, a museum in Washington DC that takes visitors on a journey through the history of the Black experience in the USA, from Africa to slavery through to emancipation and the civil-rights movement.