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.
In the meantime, the firm’s focus in China has evolved from its concentration on housing to institutional projects, such as the Shanghai University of Technology‘s research buildings. In the meantime MRY has been noted as a leader in the design of campus projects in the U.S. and abroad, as well as numerous government projects—courthouses and embassies.

 

 

Interview: Joe Valerio (Fall 2004)


npc-2a
North Point Competition model, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2003)

 

COMPETITIONS: As has been case with many architects, your career got a very big boost by virtue of winning a competition — Colton Palms Senior Apartments. Was that the very first competition you participated in?

 

VALERIO: No. It wasn’t the first, and it wasn’t the last. It was interesting in that we won, and also won a PA Design Award for it and an AIA Honor Award for the project when it was finished. It covered the gamut of awards that one could win with a project. And it got built almost exactly the way it was designed for the competition.

 

COMPETITIONS: Was the competition open or invited?

 

VALERIO: It was open, and there were about 140 entries from around the world. There were five finalists in the 2-stage competition, and we were selected at the end of the second stage.

 




cover-fall-04
COMPETITIONS: Do you recall who ran that competition?

VALERIO: Michael Pittas, who did a very commendable job. The two key jurors were Rob Quigley and Don Lyndon. In hindsight, it was one of those things where all the stars were alligned and there was a very dynamic city manager (Frank Benest). This was his first job as city manager. He went on to become city manager in Brea, California, a wealthier suburb. Now he is city manager of Palo Alto. He recently said to me that one thing he was always trying to get communities to do was to invest in their downtowns. ‘Here in Palo Alto, nobody wants any more investment in downtown.’ Frank was very innovative, in that he used the competition process to get something to happen that probably could not have happened any other way. California in the early 90s had a law which said that, ‘if you set up a redevelopment district, you could capture the increase in real estate tax revenue in that district and use it to help finance the development.
   So it was a kind of bootstrap sort of approach called tiff financing, which is very popular all over the U.S., including in Chicago. You have to set aside 20% from that funding mechanism for
affordable housing. So everybody set up these greenbelt districts and this set-aside fund. But nobody wanted affordable housing, because affordable housing equated with subsidized housing. It didn’t matter that the people that really wanted to use the affordable housing were seniors from the community who didn’t want to leave, or policemen or firemen who couldn’t afford to live in communities they were serving. People were just against affordable housing.

 

Colton Palms Apartments (Competition winner 1988) Colton Palms, California
Photo: courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train
Colton Palms Apartments (Competition winner 1988) Colton Palms, California


So Frank came up with the idea, if he could create enough buzz about the project and really make it into this event, he could get the city to build affordable housing projects. It turned out that they had an abandoned grocery store in their old downtown area, which covered most of a city block. The city had taken control of the property. So he had the money and the set-aside. He had this piece of property which had to be redeveloped; but he couldn’t get the city to just do it. So he came up with this idea of doing a competition, hired Michael Pittas to organize it, and it worked. There was all this publicity and notoriety; this competition was like a city festival. It was a very public event where people showed up for the presentations. So not only was it an architectural event; but it had a real social underpinning that was really admirable. Without that mechanism, I doubt if Frank would have been successful.

 

3crm ext se
3Com office and production facility, Rolling Meadows, Illinois  Photos: courtesy Valerio Dewalt Train Associates


COMPETITIONS: In retrospect, would you have any clues as to why you won?

 

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