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: Spela Videcnik of OFIS (Summer 2012)

title
Farewell Chapel - All photos by Tomaz Gregoric

COMPETITIONS: How did you come to study architecture?

Spela Videcnik: Originally I wanted to be a fashion designer. Already at the age of ten I was already starting to do clothes by myself. Then my mother said, there isn’t much of a future in that. So I decided to study architecture. And there I met Rok, who came from an architecture background.


COMPETITIONS: After Slovenia separated from Yugoslavia over 20 years ago; this must have had an effect on the architecture profession.

SV: For the architects who were in the old system with big firms, they had to start from scratch—like everybody else. In some ways it was more difficult for them as they were not used to dealing with budgets under the previous regime; others took care of contracts. For the older architects, it was probably quite hard; for us, we managed to somehow learn. As a result, I think we were in the same position.

Before the breakup of the old state, Yugoslavia was a larger market; and there were some good architects from Serbia and the other Yugoslavian states. Back then, the Yugoslavian market was closed to Europe, and the rest of Europe wasn’t that open to us.

COMPETITIONS: After Slovenian independence, did architects here look first to Austria?

SV: No, mainly to Holland. For those who could afford it, Holland was the place to go. And, of course, there was the AA and even LA for those who could afford it. But most of us went there to study, for things were going so well here that we came back soon afterwards. For a while, we were building three large projects a year. Of course, that hasn’t been the case the past three years.


COMPETITIONS: What was your first successful competition?

SV: Housing Block 6 (Lakeside Apartments) in Ljubljana was our first building when we first started our practice, and this was after winning the competition. The competition took place in 1997, and the project was completed in 2000.

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Housing Block 6 (Lakeside Apartments)

Initially we entered a lot of competitions; most were open, and there was no requirement of any financial guarantees. The state was sponsoring these competitions, and, since there were no restrictions on participation, we were doing a lot of them. In 1998 we won two more competitions, one a housing competition, the other for a stadium in Maribor, the latter taking ten years to complete.

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