22nd June 2015 – Architects Journal
John McAslan’s plans to convert the Millbank Tower and complex into a 5-star hotel and luxury residential could become home to the UK’s national Holocaust memorial. The tower is one of a number shortlisted sites outlined in a Home Office report into a new holocaust memorial published earlier this year. McAslan is working for the billionaire Reuben Brothers on the transformation of the grade II-listed tower close to the Houses of Parliament, which was designed by Ronald Ward + Partners for engineering firm Vickers in 1963. Designs by the architect feature in a government’s Holocaust commission report, produced in January, titled Britain’s Promise to Remember.
The document includes mock-ups and artist impressions of the new Learning Centre, which would form part of the memorial, which has an entrance behind the main Millbank tower on John Islip street and includes a reflective pond, wall of rememberance and hidden garden as well as the memorial itself. The report said: ‘The complex sits alongside Tate Britain which attracts 1.4 million visits a year. It also benefits from its own pier with river boat connections to Westminster. There may be the opportunity to work alongside Tate Britain to further develop the area to increase its appeal, helping to create a new cultural and educational quarter.’
According the the Home Office report other locations for the learning centre include the building a new wing at the Imperial War Museum which could link to the newly-upgraded Holocaust galleries in the main building and Potters Field near Tower Bridge.
A spokesperson for Reuben Brothers, the developers behind the Millbank revamp said: ‘Various locations are being considered of which Millbank is one of many. It’s not a decision for us, the project is being run by the Home Office and it’s too early to comment or speculate on what the final result may look like.’