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Competition: Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre

Babyn Yar, Kiev
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An open international contest has been launched to design a landmark memorial centre at the site of the Babyn Yar massacre in Kiev

The two-stage competition – judged by a panel featuring David Adjaye – seeks ‘creative and sensitive’ proposals for a 20,000m² museum commemorating one of the single largest atrocities of the Holocaust where approximately 33,771 Jews were killed.

Proposals must focus on the entire 22,000m² Babyn Yar ravine but should not build on the 11,000m² footprint of a former Jewish cemetery which predated the massacre. Landscape concepts for the wider 55,000m² area surrounding the historic site in the suburbs of the Ukrainian capital will also be required.

In its brie, Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre (BYHMC) says it is ‘inviting architects from all around the world to submit their expressions of interest to participate in the competition.

‘The invitation is aimed equally at experienced and young architects, large and small offices. The highest degree of creativity, innovation, inspiration, sensitivity and commitment is expected.’

The Babyn Yar massacre saw an estimated 33,771 Jews killed in a ravine which had formerly been used as a Jewish cemetery. The lack of an international response to the mass murder which took place in September 1941 is thought to have played a key role in the intensification of the Holocaust over the following years.

In total between 100,000 and 150,000 people – including Soviet prisoners of war, communists, Ukrainian nationalists and Roma – are thought to have been killed at Babyn Yar during the Second World War.

The competition, organised by Berlin-based practice Phase Eins, is supported by the government of Ukraine and the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre educational charity which was set up to commemorate the atrocity. Applications may be in English or Ukrainian.

The contest launch comes just over a year after Adjaye Associates and Ron Arad Architects won an international competition for a Holocaust Memorial project in Westminster.

Alongside Adjaye, other judges in the Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Centre contest include Kiev chief architect Alexander Svistunov; Snøhetta founding partner Kjetil Trædal Thorsen; and Rainer Mahlamäki, founding partner of Helsinki’s Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Architects.

Interested teams must submit detailed examples of three relevant previous projects. Up to 10 longlisted teams will then each receive €10,000 to participate in the first design round. Up to six shortlisted teams will receive €10,000 each to participate in the final design phase.

The overall winner – to be announced in July or August – will receive €20,000 while a second prize of €15,000 and third prize of €10,000 will also be awarded.

The deadline for applications is 21 January.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: byhmc-competition@phase1.de

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