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: Ralph Johnson of Perkins+Will (Fall 1995)

shanghai-museum-c
COMPETITIONS: you have been in both open and invited compe-titions—both as a juror and as a participant. Which type do you prefer and why?

 

RALPH JOHNSON: I think both are viable. For a young architect, open competitions are great, because they are not going to get invited. It’s a way for young architects to break into a bigger scope of work. It’s an oppor-tunity for someone who doesn’t have the experience in that particular building type to get into a new area.
Shanghai Natural History Museum Photos: courtesy Perkins and Will

 

An invited competition usually involves some kind of portfolio or resume of the firm’s work, and you usually get selected on experience in that particular building type. In the latter case, you are probably dealing with fairly extensive presentation requirements and a big outlay of money. It often also involves a couple of stages. If the compensation is adequate, which is usually six figures—$100,000-$200,000—it’s great. Most of the time, it’s inadequate. For the recent (Beirut Conference Center) competition, we did in Lebanon, it was $200,000, and that was enough to cover (our) costs. So there are benefits for both types of competitions.

 

COMPETITIONS: And as a panelist?

 

RJ: It’s much more difficult to jury the open ones because it takes longer. I was on the Astronaut Memorial jury, and there were over 600 entries. You normally don’t interview the architect; it’s single-stage. It’s more a process of winnowing out inadequate submissions—which is easy to do—and getting down to the ten percent after the first cut. In the case of an invited competition, you have five to ten submissions from very qualified firms. I think it’s good if you can actually interview firms and have a question and answer period. In an open competition, it’s almost inevitable that you wonder who is actually doing the project, how qualified the architect is. It’s hard to keep that out of your mind.

 

shanghai-museum-a shanghai-museum-b
shanghai-museum-f shanghai-museum-d
shanghai-museum-e shanghai-museum-h
Shanghai Natural History Museum Photos: courtesy Perkins and Will

 

COMPETITIONS: In other words, the presentation isn’t necessarily an indication of the qualifications of the designer?

 

RJ: I wasn’t on the jury in the case of the Vietnam Memorial, which was a famous competition. There were very sketchy charcoal drawings (by Maya Lin), which really didn’t indicate anything other than conceptual design capabilities. How could you possibly come to any conclusion of technical competence based on those drawings? You really have to read into it and assume a lot in terms of the person. In that case, of course, it was a great success as a non-complex building type. As a laboratory or something else, it’s a different story.

 

COMPETITIONS: There are a number of anecdotes concerning jurors speculating about the author behind a competition entry—the one in Paris resulting in the Grand Arch is an example. Richard Rogers, a competition juror, supposedly remarked to another juror, Richard Meier, that the author of what eventually turned out to be the winning design, “might be a nobody.” Meier reminded Rogers that, before Pompidou, he was a “nobody.”

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