David Adjaye’s Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory
Designed by Ghanian-British architect David Adjaye, the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO) has begun construction on the Isle of Portland, England. The building will be dedicated to housing exhibits on the 860 species that have been confirmed extinct since the dodo. Planned to be 30 metres high and built in a spiraling structure, MEMO is “devised as a journey, exploring the relationship between interior and exterior, landscape and enclosure,” according to Adjaye Associates.
The £30 million building will be perched on the edge of a rocky cliffside, offering panoramic views of the isle from its observatory. MEMO overlooks Bowers Quarry, a major producer of Portland Stone since the late 18th century. The landscape and the significance of Bowers Quarry inspired Adjaye to build the building in stone, showcasing both the natural beauty and craftsmanship of Portland. The stone walls will feature carved images that represent every extinct species, memorialising them.