In an homage to the mammals, insects, birds and other wildlife of days past, Adjaye Associates has designed a spiraling Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory and education center. Planned a site near Bowers Quarry on the Isle of Portland in England, MEMO rises like a bee hive from the earth. The center is designed to be made from stone, and features stone carvings of 860 extinct animal species.
Rising almost 100 feet into the air, the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory will include an exhibition space, an information center, and an observatory. The project is designed for a site overlooking Bowers Quarry, which has been a source of Portland Stone since the 1700s. The spiraling structure emulates the ancient fossils of extinct gastropods that workers often find in the quarry. Images of 860 species that have become extinct since the dodo will be carved in relief on the surface of the stone facade.
Inside, stone statues of the same 860 species will flank the spiraling inner floors that gradually ascend to the top of the structure in a gently sloping ramp. The center of the building will hold a “bell of biodiversity” that will morbidly be rung each time a new species becomes extinct. The exterior of the center will be made from recycled materials and local indigenous stone, emulating the sharp cliffs of the Isle of Portland.