Maiden Memorial Competition


Winning entry by MIstudio

 

The demonstrations in Kiev in 2013-14, which led to the fall of the Russian-friendly Yanukovych regime, cannot be completely understood without knowledge of the history of the the Ukraine, its people and culture. Let it suffice to say that the Ukranians, who speak their own Slavic language, have gravitated toward western Europe, especially culturally, ever since the middle ages.

 

As Europe’s breadbasket in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Ukraine’s troubled relationship as a region within the Soviet Union after 1918 was exacerbated by the Stalin purges and grain export controls leading to the deadly famine of the 1930s (See our coverage of the Holomodor Memorial competition in Washington, DC. commemorating the deaths of millions in the Ukraine during this period: https://competitions.org/2016/11/national-holomodor-memorial/)

 


Maiden Square

 

After WWII, Soviet party official Nikita Khrushchev encouraged the expansion of the eastern borders of the Ukraine into Russian speaking areas, even including the Crimea, and further diluting the administrative influence of Ukrainian identity and language throughout the region. This demarcation continued with what became the Russian Federation after the disolution of the Soviet Union in 1989, with the eastern, Russian-speaking part of the Ukraine and the Crimea remaining as part of a new, independent Ukraine.

 

Thus, when the Ukraine began negotiations with the EU in 2012 to integrate its economy with the west, the head of the Ukrainian government from the Russian-speaking eastern part of the country, President Yanukovych, attempted to torpedo the negotiations by signing a separate trade agreement with the Russians. Pulling back from a former guarantee to become part of the EU economy inflamed tensions, leading to demonstrations in the capital of Kiev, a crackdown by the authorities, and the ultimate deaths of at least 60 demonstrators. With the removal of the pro-Putin regime, a new, western-oriented government took control, and tensions have escalated vis-à-vis the Russian Federation. Against this background it was decided to establish a memorial, honoring those victims at the main site of the protests on Maiden (Independence) Square.

 

It was only logical that a competition should be the focus of a selection process for the design of the site. For this, Ukrainian authorities turned to the Berlin consulting firm of [phase eins], with its wide-ranging international experience, to administer the competition.

 

The stated aims of the competition were:

• To work-out the project proposal for the memorial of Heavenly Hundred Heroes

• To work-out the project proposal for the building of Museum of Revolution of Dignity that has to include the museum and culture-educational functions

• To work-out the public space as a part of memorial-museum complex

 

Jury panel:

Architect Jurors

Julian Chaplynskyy
Chief Architect Lviv (Lviv, Ukraine)

Guido Hager
Landscape Architect, Hager Partner (Zurich, Switzerland)

Prof. Rainer Mahlamäki
Architect, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Oy (Helsinki, Finland)

Maciej Miłobędzki
Architect, JEMS Architekci (Warsaw, Poland)

Prof. Matthias Sauerbruch
Architect, Sauerbruch Hutton Architekten (Berlin, Germany)

Olexander Svystunov
Chief Architect Kiev (Kiev, Ukraine)

Prof. Can Togay
Artist, Filmmaker, Writer (Berlin, Germany)

Dmytro Volyk
Chief Architect Dnipro (Dnipro, Ukraine)

General Jurors

Eugen Nyschuk
Minister of Culture of Ukraine (Kiev, Ukraine)

Volodymyr Bondarchuk
Chief of the NGO “Families of Heavenly Hundred Heroes” (Kiev, Ukraine)

Ihor Poshyvailo
CEO of the state organization “National memorial complex of Heavenly Hundred Heroes –

Myroslav Marynovych
Human rights activist, publicist, vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University (Lviv, Ukraine) Museum of Revolution of Dignity” (Kiev, Ukraine)

Elaine Heumann Gurian
Museum consultant (Arlington, USA)

 

With the extraordinary detailed jury comments about the three competition finalists and their ranking (below), there was little reason for us, as editors, to comment on the ultimate selection criteria, which led to the choice of the ultimate winner. But it should come as no surprise that several of the finalists included typical generic solutions, with a wall being the most prominent design element among those.

 

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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: William Pedersen FAIA (Winter 1996/97)

 


333 Wacker Drive - view with Chicago River in foreground (photo: ©Barbara Karant)

 

COMPETITIONS: When you are called on to design a ‘foreground’ building for a corporate client—although it’s usually an office building, it could be any number of building types—how do you balance the private and public interest beyond the usual zoning regulations?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

left and below
Gargoyle Club Prize
Best Architectural Thesis, University of Minnesota School of Architecture (1961)
Theme: Hospital Project


Images: courtesy William Pedersen

 

Pedersen: The interest of the client as it relates to the quantity of the construction they wish to place on a site is perhaps the most difficult issue, particularly during the 80s, when a tremendous amount of construction was taking place in the United States, and one more office building was not hailed by anybody as a contribution to society. The situation has changed rather dramatically in the 90s, when almost none of them are being built; so the issue is not as pressing. But there always is the question, ‘Is a building, given the bulk proposed, appropriate for its specific condition?’ One’s ability to deal with that issue is somewhat limited because zoning establishes what is of right, and not of right. Therefore, the battle has largely been fought prior to our entrance on the scene.

 

Past that point, the relationship of our buildings to a specific context has been a fundamental issue of our architecture. This is particularly how we take tall buildings, which are in themselves somewhat insular, autonomous and discrete, and bring them into a more social state of existence. That’s been the subject of our study for the last twenty years. We’ve developed strategies for doing that, of which I’ve spoken at length. The preoccupation of making the tall buildings—part of a more continuous, overriding fabric—that’s been central to our architecture.

 

COMPETITIONS: The most obvious argument against contextualism—as many people understand it—would be the Pompidou Centre in Paris, which has turned out to be the most visitied and popular building in that city. Wouldn’t that seem to give architects a good argument for doing something different? Was that even a lesson?

 

WP: Juxtaposition is a fundamental contextual strategy; but it has to be used sparingly and has to be introduced at exactly the right moment for it to have a powerful effect. For example, the Seagrams Building on Park Avenue—before any of the other buildings followed suit—was exceedingly powerful and very successful as a result of the juxtaposition at that particular place. I would argue that our building in Chicago (333 Wacker Drive) is an equally successful contextual building. It’s on the only triangular site of the Chicago grid at a bend in the Chicago River, and it sits within a context of totally masonry buildings, largely of the classical derivation. Somehow the relationship between those very distinct parts works. We were asked to build a building right next to 333 Wacker Drive, which did not occupy a unique geometric piece of property, but in fact became more of a continuation of the street wall leading up to 333 Wacker. We elected there to utilize a more Classical language in total juxtaposition to our own 333 Wacker in an effort to try to achieve the continuity of the wall that we thought was necessary, but also to maintain that poignancy of a juxtaposition to 333 Wacker Drive to the rest of the context. It would weaken it tremendously if it had been reproduced next door.

 

The same is true of the Pompidou Centre. If one were to tear down that section of Paris around it and build a number of Pompidou Centers there, it would lose its impact, because ifs impact is an object set within a very careful framing in that traditional neighborhood. Without the dialogue between the two, the game is over.

 


AAL Hqs. building addition (1971), Appleton, Wisconsin


AAL Hqs. original building


AAL rendering

 

COMPETITIONS: Most people seem to believe that 333 Wacker is the best building you have done. Maybe it was the time and unique site. It was one of those projects where one announces, ‘Well, here I am.’ Sometimes it’s difficult to top a wonderful building like that, though you may believe your next building is the one you like best.

 

WP: I think that 333 was a product of my sensibility at that point in time. It was a building that tended tobe an intuitive response to the site. In terms of it language, it came out of a couple of other buildings I had done immediately prior to that—one being the Aid Association for Lutherans in Appleton, Wisconsin, the other being the Brooklyn Criminal Courts Building, which had very similar geometric ideas in terms of its relationship to context. The very conscious attitude of trying to make the tall building part of a larger urban contet preoccupied us for the next five years. As a result, we used a more classical language to try to develop connecting strategies, because a Classical language is largely built on ideas of connection of pieces and parts, one to another…buildings connect well because they have parts that are combined and are part of a central language.

 

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