A ground-breaking ceremony took place last week for the Mass Extinction Memorial Observatory (MEMO), a 30-metre-high stone spiral that will house an information and exhibition centre for the 860 species identified as extinct since the demise of the dodo in the 17th century. “Rather than a building or shelter, MEMO is devised as a journey, exploring the relationship between interior and exterior, landscape and enclosure.”
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An image representing every extinct species will be carved into the walls, with space left to add more carved stones for future extinctions. Related story: David Adjaye to transform “Mole Man” house in London into home for artists”A fitting insertion into the landscape, the project presents an opportunity to revitalise the old Bowers Quarry and to draw attention back to the natural beauty and craftsmanship of Portland,” said Adjaye Associates in a statement. A bell inside the building will toll to mark these occasions. Perched on the edge of a cliff, the £30 million building will also contain an observatory overlooking Bowers Quarry, one of the main producers of Portland Stone since the late eighteenth century – prompting Adjaye’s decision to build in stone.