International design competition: National Memorial to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and revolution of dignity Museum
Site: Kyiv, Russian
Client: Department of Culture of Ukraine
Architect: G. Vàzquez Consuegra
Coordinator Architects: P. Colonna, I. Frade
Collaborators: A. Cappelli, R. Catalano, M. Ciabattini, P. Cristini, A. Labaut, E. Lohno, E. Mekiffer, J. Moreno, F. Pisano, T. Torchia.
The proposal for the National Memorial to the Heavenly Hundred Heroes and Revolution of Dignity Museum is located in the heart of Kiev. Kiev is not only the capital, but also the most populated city in Ukraine. The project aims to commemorate the events that were unleashed on the 21st of November of 2013 and came to an end, just ideally, in the worst conditions: 107 citizens were killed, and many others were injured, affecting both civilians and police forces. It is an arduous task to face such a delicate issue as human dignity by using architecture. How could the subject be evoked? How could it be turned into a ‘tangible presence’ by creating an atmosphere, or much better, by a spatial experience? How could it be brought to the present moment?
The project interprets these complicated issues by using the symbolic-formal archetype of the ‘ascending itinerary’ throughout a tale that guides visitors from the moment they come into the building, walking around the internal garden towards the inside of an impressive monolith that gives shelter to the permanent exhibition. At the end of this itinerary the visitor reaches the summit, where Maidan square can be contemplated from the far distance. A void, perceived as a physical presence, and the journey to its inside are, therefore, the two topics chosen to generate a space able to host a lively cultural program which will undoubtedly change throughout the years.
[…Aligned with the courtyard axis and establishing a frontal and direct relation with it, emerges eventually, the most outstanding element of the project. The geometrical grid established in the courtyard has continuity to the inside of the main volume as main structure. This abstract monolithic block will host the permanent exhibition. Inside this block, a thick strip will follow the perimeter wall, hosting all the communications and services demanded by the main central space. This perimeter strip is conceived as an ‘inhabited wall’ that could recreate intimacy moments and provide the temporary exhibition with quietness and meditation refuges when needed. Inside this strip there will be not only stairs and services, but also exhibition rooms connected and related with the central platforms….] […When reaching the upper level, the visitor finds the denouement of the journey: the panoramic zone, presided by a large window, which is the only opening in the monolith facade. The aim of this large window is to visually link the volume with Maidan square, the neuralgic centre of the protests, this point of view provides the visitor with a whole experience after having gone through the entire promenade, coming back to the starting point…]
(Extracted by the report of the project)