Architecture as Political Statement in the Ukraine

Design Competition for the National Memorial for the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum in Kiev


Winning design: ©Kleihues + Kleihues Gesellschaft von Architekten

 

After an extended and rigorous competition process, the winner(s) of the National Memorial for the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum in Kiev have been selected. They are:

 

1st Prize – Kleihues + Kleihues Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin/Germany
2nd Prize – Burø architects, Kiev/Ukraine
3rd Prize – Lina Ghotmeh – Architecture, Paris/France

 

This was the second competition in the process to determine the designs for both the site and the museum complex itself. The purpose of the project was to honor the victims of the attempted suppression of the protests, which ultimately ended with the deposition of the pro-Russian premier, Viktor Yanukovych.

 

The competitors in the Museum competition were selected as a result of a RfQ/qualifications process. From the 12 invited participants in stage 1, six teams were shortlisted for stage two. In addition to the above-mentioned winners, they were:
Guillermo Vázquez Consuegra Arquitecto SLP, Seville/Spain (round 3)
Dominique Lyon Architectes Paris, France (round 2)
Coop Himme(l)blau, Vienna/Austria (round 1)

 

It was understandable that none of the illustrations of the submitted entries indicated any kind of symbolism that one might construe as a revolutionary, symbolic reference to the events surrounding the Maiden revolution. Here we see a process with a primary focus on the visualization, organization, and functionality of a facility that could best serve to illustrate an event of a major historical event for the community. In this sense, it mirrors the non-representational styles from the exterior of numerous Holocaust museums, where only upon entering does one encounter the full force of the subject matter.

 

If there was any symbolism here, it was somehow reminiscent of Lina Ghotmeh’s recent winning design for the National Estonian Museum. In that case, the architecture of the museum was certainly apolitical, but a former Soviet military airstrip as the site of the Museum was a certain statement that Estonia was determined to no longer be a vassal to its neighbor. In the Ukrainian case, the architecture is also apolitical, but the site is certainly not.

 

As for the architectural expression of the finalists, the winning design by Kleihues + Kleihues could have been mistaken for Chipperfield—certainly not a bad act to follow. The others also exhibited variations on recent examples of modern museum architecture, as seen in a number of recent competitions. But based on the composition of the jury, there would be no chance for a traditional design on this one.

 

The competition jury was a good mix of Ukrainian and foreign professionals. The participating architectural jurors were:

 

• Julian Chaplynskyy, Architect (Lviv, Ukraine) *
Guido Hager, Landscape Architect (Zurich, Switzerland)
Prof. Rainer Mahlamäki, Architect (Helsinki, Finland)
Maciej Miłobędzki, Architect, (Warsaw, Poland)
Prof. Matthias Sauerbruch, Architect (Berlin, Germany)
Olexander Svystunov, Architect (Kiev, Ukraine)
• P
rof. Can Togay, Artist, Filmmaker, Writer (Berlin, Germany) *
• D
mytro Volyk, Architect (Dnipro, Ukraine)

Deputy Architectural Juror
Volodymyr Shevchenko, Architect (Kiev, Ukraine)
*excused, not attending Stage 2

 

The coordination of the jury was administered by Benjamin Hosbach, Architect and Director [phase eins]. The extensive notes surrounding the discussion of the finalists, and approved by the jury chair, are included with the three prize winners.

 

1002 (1st prize)
Kleihues + Kleihues Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin/Germany
Authors: Prof. Jan Kleihues, Johannes Kressner
Employees/freelance collaborator:
Markus Schlosser, Pia Nürnberger
Consultants/experts:
Visualization: bloomimages Berlin GmbH, Andrea Cogo, Berlin
Structural Design Concept: sbp schlaich bergermann partner, Boris Reyher
Sustainability concept: Transsolar, Mathias Rammig
Model: Monath + Menzel GmbH, Christian Axel Monath, Berlin

 

Photo:©Andrey Mikhailov

 

 

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Recent Archive Updates

Interview: James Mary O’Connor FAIA (Winter 2017)

After receiving his Diploma in Architecture from the Dublin Institute of Technology and BS in Architecture from Trinity College in Dublin, James received his Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Los Angeles while a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S. Shortly after his time as a student in Charles Moore’s Master Class at UCLA, he joined the Moore firm in Los Angeles, now Moore Ruble Yudell. Beginning in the late 1980s, he was involved in the firm’s many projects in Germany, many of which dealt with masterplanning and the construction of large housing, primarily in Berlin. Subsequently, he was involved in the Potatisåkern Master Plan & Housing, as well as the Bo01 Housing Exhibition, both in Malmö, Sweden.
James was MRY’s point person in its subsequent involvement with the firm’s many projects in the People’s Republic of China, beginning with their winning competition proposal for the Century Center project in Beijing. Although unbuilt, it didn’t escape the notice of the Chinese, who invited the firm to participate in a competition for the Tianjin Xin-He large neighborhood masterplan—which they won. This was followed by the 2004 Chun Sen Bi An Housing Masterplan competition in the city of Chongqing, located in central China—completed in 2010. This high profile project resulted in a number of affordable and high-end housing projects throughout China. The firm’s most remarkable sustainability project was the COFCO Agricultural Eco-Valley Master Plan project outside Beijing, envisioned to become the first net zero-carbon project of its kind in the world.
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Interview: Diana Balmori (Winter 2009/2010)

Diana  Balmori
COMPETITIONS: What brought you to landscape architecture in the first place. And whom did you first look to as a model?

Diana Balmori: When I got my Ph.D. in history, it was the study of public open spaces in cities. The experiences of landscape had to do more with the amount of time I spent in back country in northwest Argentina, north of Chile and south of Bolivia. My father was a linguist and was studying American Indian languages there. We spent a lot of time going out on horseback in deserted landscapes where the Indians lived. Those experiences were very powerful, just the feeling of space. That experience is not a direct one, but it’s always been an active ingredient in thinking about space. The other one was just the issue of the space inside cities.
As for model, I got into landscape because I started writing about Beatrix Farrand, and I encountered a cache of documents at the New York Historical Society about her correspondence with the architect Lawrence White, the son of the famous architect. It concerned this place in Washington. Nobody had any idea about how she had designed it and how she was involved. So here was this incredibly long correspondence about this. I wrote about how in fact all the decisions were being made about the design. She had been forgotten, and there was very little written about her. So after that I some digging on her work on her work at Princeton and her work at Yale, and at Princeton I also discovered a book at Princeton of the actual design and caring for the landscape for about twenty years there. I found it an incredibly wonderful document from which to learn. It was the basis of my learning and getting interested in landscape. After that I decided I wanted to do landscape (design) and not write about it.

 

Bilbao Jardin, Bilboa, Spain (click to enlarge)

 

COMPETITIONS: When one sees your body of work, which are significant for the number of competitions you have participated in, one might assume that you are located in Europe, rather than in this country. It would appear that much of your work has come as the result of competitions. How did you get so deeply involved in that area?

 

DB: At one level, it’s the only way for a person who comes in from the outside for getting jobs. You’re starting an office, so where do you go to? I didn’t have any connections to say, ‘Give me a job.’ So from the beginning I jumped into competitions from day one, and I have pursued them very actively. Now we get into invited competitions and more direct commissions.

COMPETITIONS: Along the way, you must have learned something from these competitions.

 

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