Energy of the Earth, where the ashes of thousand innocent victims rest, creates space for the generations to come in the city of triumphant spirit and light.
Integration the already existing memorial and park in a single complex via creating a transport viaduct and laying a pedestrian promenade.
Selection and planting new plants, grouped in one color set, will create a new complex urban structure ‘park-garden’.
Utilization of different alternative energy sources provide Babiy Yar parkgarden with electricity and heating.
Volodymyr Pylypchuk — Chief Architect — Kyiv, Ukraine
Maksym Ivanov — Chief Architect — Kyiv, Ukraine
Employees, students, freelance collaborators: Danil Pylypchuk, Anton Shvidkov, Olena Fesik
Goal of participation
I was born in the city with a long history. How many events have the slopes of Dnipro River witnessed? The city has been evolving along the right high side of Dnipro River, richly carved by the system of ravines. The geology of modern city hides a lot of horrible secrets. Holocaust is a black mark in the history of the city. Historical events changed this place and distorted it with great hatred. What is this place, where two totalitarian regimes turned their backs on human life? Killing, burning, burying, pouring over, levelling, building on. Can we ever forget these events? For more than 70 years the large part of our city needs commemoration, recognition and special status. As an architect of independent Ukraine I suggest the ideological solution of competition guidelines. I aspire to create a place, where the tragic events of the past will make people think about the value of life and mistakes that we must never allow to happen again in the future.
An hour of complete silence… I will never forget how the work started, when the understanding of the scale of victims, buried in the ravine, hits you. Kyiv eventually becomes different for you. There you go along Melnykova and Teliha Streets, but something is not right. Behind the crowns of trees, street lights, billboards, cars and people I now see the outline of Babyn Yar. Nothing has changed on the outside: people still walk on concrete sidewalks, watch the massive monumental composition, sell coffee and other cheap pleasures of life near the subway, but to me this place has already changed. Now I know more and start conversing with the ravine, and it feels painful.The purpose of the competition is the comprehension and the recognition of the further actions to the implementation of the ideas for the landscaping of the area.
In the sense of memory politics the purpose of the competition is to offer to the public and to the professionals the idea of the complex memorial space as an alternative to the construction of grandiose memorials or installation of individual memorable signs.
The first thought was to clean the territory of competition and close it from people. To make it a reserve and conduct annual excursions there in spring, but that wouldn’t make the place tell us anything. I want to tell a story through the revitalization of the park, through elements of landscape architecture. Babyn Yar reminds of the crack in the ground with the erosion of the terrain, with wearing away, and branched spurs with steep slopes. On the plan this place is reminiscent of a tree or a separate branch with tattered leaves. People went to their execution on the bole to the edge of a branch, where their lives were scattered like the wind scatters autumn leaves. I‘ve got an idea that the path through the axis of the ravine should be made as an avenue, 20 m in width, which will connect the main monument near the entrance with the menorah, located deep into the park. Above the road on Melnykova Street, which was laid over the filled in ravine, where executions took place, the avenue will be made as a bridge. People will be able to access the main part of the park without obstacles and fully observe the structure of composition. Central avenue will be called “zero plane” – it is the place between past and future. Rethinking of the events and the place comes gradually. The trees will be planted under the avenue and will pierce through it in some places. Where the avenue rises above the terrain of the park, there will be archways on the different levels and infrastructure facilities: gallery with exposition, administration of the park, service area, and utility spaces. From the main avenue, at the spur places, 10 m width avenues branch off. Lines of pedestrian walkways will be designed in smooth radial lines that connect to each other and form a system reminiscent of young tree branches. These lines connect all monuments and come together at the main avenue. The burial places of most people will be greened up in the shape of a leaf with red colored plants. On the outline of the composition the hedgerow of young and small trees with shaping crowns will be planted. They will represent groups of people who were standing there in the single rank in 1941. For the composition I will use stone and soil from Jerusalem for the conciliation and peace of the soul. Creating such compositions in the places of shooting, we commemorate burial places and make it impossible for people to pass above them. In compositions near Kurenivka the color of plants will be changed from red to grey. It will stand for the memorial of victims of the industrial disaster in 1961. In the night-time compositions will be illuminated.
I suggest to perpetuate Melnykova Street - the last path of many prisoners – with the copper band with Torah prayers on it. It will be placed on the ropes along the road. The band will stretch out through the ruins of tank repair shop and along the former office of the management of the Jewish cemetery to the menorah. The band ends above the small piece of former repair shop territory, where people waited for their death. Now it’s ruins in the middle of neighborhood, limited by office and residential buildings, and I suggest for the walls to remain, but to level the terrain around them, and plant the same trees, which were used in park compositions, across the area.
Across the park area I suggest to create recreational places for leisure, walks with children, and sports. Places, where were no shootings and burials, I suggest to leave for visitors’ recreation. The territory will be cleared of the old trees to create open public spaces with natural and artificial coating. Information boards and road signs will be installed near the access places for the ease of navigation around the necropolis area. Two parking areas will be arranged for cars and buses. I suggest to coat the road above the filled ravine with noiseless pavement to reduce noise pollution. All related small architectural forms near “Dorogozhychi” subway station should be dismantled.
We plan to use solar panels for illumination at the night-time in the whole park. They will be installed at the open spaces along the main avenues. Groups of illumination will be controlled according to the time and season. Filtration beds for rain water and automatic plant irrigation systems will be placed, some locations will have underground tanks for collecting rain water. During winter only bathrooms will be heated; the temperature of the galleries will remain above zero. By means of exhaust ventilation from the subway, utility parts of gallery premises can be heated.
Olesandr Yatsevskyi — Architect — Kyiv, Ukraine
Petro Tarnovskyi — Architect — Kyiv, Ukraine
The worldwide known area of the “Babiy Yar” is an important spot in history of humanity because of the tragical events that happened during the war and nazi-occupation. Nowadays the area is a popular place of recreation of people of Kiev, because of its reach nature and magnificent landscapes . That’s why the very first aim of our team was to improve the quality of recreation in this area by providing better connections between different parts of the territory and trough it and also to retain the memorial value of the site. The first step was the analysis of the territory and how people move through it. We have observed schemes of pedestrian’s and bicycle’s traffics, that helped us to pick out the most comfortable and more used existing sidewalks and roads.
As we went working on the site we realized, that the park has not enough memorial integrity, in spite of a big amount of different memorial signs and monuments. In our opinion it was necessary to develop a general concept of how to mark the spots of mass executions without building some new memorials. The solution was the combination of landscapes and form, witch helped us to emphasis the attention of the viewers exactly on the places, where many years ago people where standing in a row and getting killed by the occupants. In those places we cut the landscapes creat of different sizes. The stones are
used as a symbol of memory of jewish people, that once where forced to gather in Babiy Yar and never get out of there.
The gap in the landscape also symbolize the gap in time between nowadays and the past, when horrible murders have occurred. We also see possibilities of using the outstanding landscape of the territory to attract more people to the park. One of such opportunities is to develop the areas with the most salient landscapes (sloped, hils) into tourist’s tracking routes. Some of the hills are very steep and could be interesting even for experienced tourist. Today some parts of the territory are used by mountain bike riders. We see it as one more possibility to expand park’s attraction to different layers of the society.
The very important point is that all planned roads, sidewalks and routes are designed in the areas free of burials underground.
Maksym Vasalatiy — Urban Designer — Odessa, Ukraine
Illya Podolskyy — Architect — Odessa, Ukraine
Yuliia Frolova — Architect — Odessa, Ukraine
The main idea for the proposal Babyn Yar Necropolis is to establish a "path of light" symbolizing the passage through the various cemeteries that have existed in the park. This pathway is also the connection between the various memorials in the park to form a new map of memory and integration.
The path is presented with a square base lamps translucent separated from each 5 meters. These lamps are placed on top of a steel plate to separate the soil and is designed with a groove for collecting the water and create a boundary with the garden areas.
Led lights are devices powered by a photovoltaic panels and connected to the electricity network of the city.
The light on the path wants to be the symbol of unity of the history of the Holocaust and other tragedies throughout history and the park. It is the symbol of reflection an alternative to the chaotic separate installation space at the park monuments.
The path begins at the trident of Melnykova and Dorozhytska´ streets, linking ancient "The path of sorrow”. It Integrates existing cemeteries Luk'yamis'ke and Viis'kove on both sides of the Dorozhytska street and goes into the park to north crossing the church of St. Cyril. It communicates with the memorials of German prisoners of war outside the competition área.
The ground of the path uses existing tile ground and in specific places the ceramic pieces are broken and mixed with plants, branches and organic waste from the park with a lean concrete base to organize on the path places that are areas of quiet and meditation. The idea is introduced into the pavements symbols of beliefs and religions which represents the memory the past and the future of all people.
The new monuments. The proposal seeks to enable areas at the park or stays with lamps and glass walls points to sit that invite reflection, where there are already signs of necropolis more than enable new spaces for new monuments.
We propose three towers of translucent glass and 36 square meters, made in steel frame and covered of uglass that are placed as reference landmarks of the cardinal points and with the church of St. Cyril and communication antenna located at Melnykova street become reference points that allow you to see the pathway above the treetops. While inside of these towers is a meditation space. There contain on its transparent walls and its floor the history of the park as a necrópolis. At the same time commemorate Ukrainians who want peace and among them the "Righteous of Babyn Yar".
We propose an empty space of large dimension comprising the football field located south, near the Melnykova street and the debris the building. Soccer goals are removed. The grass is allowed to grow. This empty space surrounded by trees and crossed by a line of separate lamps 7 meters away remains an empty meadow to organize temporary international installations with guest artists representing the memory of Babyn Yar necropolis every 2 years. This cultural space will allow visitors recognize the value of rememblance.
The proposal pointed out the empty spaces of the park. These other places have more of a character reference and guide for new memorials that will use for the constructions waste from cleaning the park and serve as elements of recycling, accumulation of foliage, branches, stones….
Entries. The proposal seeks transparency and continuity of the proposal therefore more than define an entry point is to consolidate locations. They are presented as points, stopover along the way.
It is also intended to remove some visual obstacles or replacement of fences and steps and all elements homogenize the boundaries between consolidated buildings such as the television tower and the south east of the park, in order to understand the proposal as a unit.
The glass tower further north would be a new entrance to the park in continuity with the flyover. Communicating the reserve area of the park with access to the street.
Mobility. The street bordering the park on the west side Oleny Telihy and Melnykova street that divides enclose and break the whole area of competition. It is therefore proposed to reduce the speed of traffic on the street Melnykova widening sidewalks and introducing a bike path that has continuity with the west edge on the street Oleny Telihy. The dismnución speed at Melnykova allow greater communication between the southern area and the park. Also the sidewalk of Melnykova will be enlarge in order to adjust the trafic between cyclists and pedestrians.
Furniture. It aims to increase the number of benches and litter bins along the way as well as the degree of illumination.
Aurora Fernandez Rodriguez — Architect — Madrid, Spain
Victor Perez Perez — Architect — Madrid, Spain
In order to transform Babyn yar, witness of several historical events, in a place of respect and memory for victims, the project aims to offer a new park to the city leading to inspire dialogues between its visitors. The project is composed of three main paths which are defined by taking advantages of the history, the topography, the existing natural conditions and the infrastructures of the site. Each path has a special atmosphere to reveal its statement.
These three paths all reach a central belvedere, which offers an overview of all the sites and a better understanding of the entire place. This belvedere also has a symbolic signification as a collector for stones which visitors bring here to witness their visit at Babyn Yar Park and to pay respect to all the tragic events happened at the site.
The memory path is dedicated to the historical massacre of the Babyn yar. The main walkway is paved by symbolic bullets. It leads visitors to a memory garden where all existing monuments are collected and position for new monuments are defined. Memory garden expresses the idea of precious life regardless to race , religion or any other feature. The holocaust square toward the future memorial museum will also be created.
The nature path highlights the difference among seasons by the water circulation on the site, it is designed to commemorate the mudslide disaster of 1962 and to show beauty and strength of nature. The main path is made by a water receptacle. It is divided in several steps, the main entrance leads to water walls, they are located on the remain of the old dam. Water sounds will be the symbol of this path. Then the path continues toward the secret garden , a peaceful place around the season pond. It collects clear water from natural filter ponds.
The path of tomorrow intend to be minimal. The proposal is the metaphor of the future, the aim is to let people taking part of the development of this area. We provide one main path and propose to use an abandoned building, the program could be define further by citizens, this is a capable space.
The project propose an easy reading of the site and its history, the journey will start from knowledge to activism. People can build a better future in respect and memory of the past according to their experience and understanding of the site.
Milos Bojinovic — Architect — Belgrade, Serbia
Iryna Safonova — Architect — Kyiv, Ukraine
Laurene Mousnier — Architect — Paris, France
Babyn Yar together with Rep’yahiv Yar form two branches of the green corridor along which the Dnieper river flows on its passage through kyiv.
The topography and native vegetation of the place, has served as the basis to hide the atrocities and crimes against humanity, and especially against the Jewish people, generating the planning arrangement of the site from its own nature. The place is organized into two streams of plaited paths, which like roots, run according to the natural logic of the place itself, forming two parallel axes heading northbound to southbound throughout Babyn Yar and Rep’yahiv Yar.
As connecting fibers, the paths ramify connecting with each other, and spread to the adjacent neighborhoods, generating longitudinal and transverse connections between areas of the city of Kyiv separated by this natural space, which did not exist before.
In Rep’yahiv Yar, the paths leave the ground forming plaited walkways which fly and cross over the original road that runs along the bottom of the ravine. These walkways become overpasses within the nature reserve fund, preserving the environment and allowing visitors to enjoy while walking among the treetops, generating transverse east-west connections. Besides allowing saving the steep topography, the walkaways allow freedom of movement to visitors in this frequently flooded territories, whilst the supporting pillars favor the slopes containment on these landslide prone areas.
In Kurenivs’ka disaster area, the other floodable area, a wet landscape consisting of stepped water sheets adapted to the topography between the structuring paths is set.
The massive execution area of Babyn Yar, is the central space of the planning arrangement and where all paths converge. The existing topography, which marks the original footprints, is conserved, slightly modifying the edges by establishing terraces in each branch around the central space where a large water sheet is located. This is a space for learning and meditation.
In addition to the existing vegetation, new tree species are incorporated to produce the lost traces of the former cemeteries and as plot walls treatment for certain buildings. Additionally, the plant species introduced give color richness, texture, volumen and shadows, creating a changing natural landscape with the seasons, and selecting preferably plant species which flowering period, color change or leaves falling, match with special dates, such as, September 29th or March 13th (kurenivs’ka disaster).
The path matrix, the roots, collect the numerous memorial signs and existing monuments which remained disjointed until now, creating thematic areas directly connected to each other, and extending to other historical areas related to Babyn Yar outside this area, creating a memorial space network at the city level, that will serve as basis for new memorials, always keeping Kyiv TV antenna silhouette as point of reference.
Cristobal Gomez Perez — Senior Architect — Seville, Spain
Anna Serrano Hidalgo — Junior Architect — Seville, Spain
Path of Remembrance
Babyn Yar is a vast site with painful history, varied topography and a number of existing buildings that result in disconnected zones scattered between separate memorial sites.
“The Path of Remembrance” is a response to this challenge. We propose to create a new pedestrian and cycle path through Babyn Yar, which will connect west and east of the site. In this way acting as the main longitudinal artery of the park, while complementing the existing circulation.
Formed by strong downward water flows, the topography of this site, is characterised by hilly landscapes interlaced with deep ravines and depressions. “The Path of Remembrance” uses these geographic features to creates a route in an unlikely and otherwise unwalkable setting.
The surrounding nature and forest is reflected in the stainless steel mesh of the deck and the mirror polished cladding of the walls. The path will follow the stream on its journey downhill, sometimes running alongside it, sometimes slightly rising above it like a viaduct.
As well as a place for solitude and mindfulness, the path is designed to provide areas for socialising and gatherings. This is achieved through diversity of social spaces unique to their picturesque location along the path. One of them being an elevated viewing platform overlooking Kiev skyline, and the other a circular sundeck.
The path culminates in a lake in the north-western part of the site that takes the excess downstream water. In autumn and winter this could be used as an ice-skating ring, and as a pond in the summer. This will be a beautiful recreational and symbolic focal point of the park, as well as a direct response to the natural processes and water formations in this area.
“The Path of Remembrance” as the metaphor for the act of remembrance is equally not an easy one, but thinking about such controversial historical events never is. It is a more than 700 metres walk, at times becoming a hike up the hill to a viewing platform (more that 50 metres altitude rise to the highest point).
The historic aspect in “The Path of Remembrance” is introduced through the memorial inscriptions on the human-scale mirror polished stainless steel walls. The idea is to personalise the tragedy by converting a historical statistics back into people, to give the victims back their identity, their stories and their dignity.
While visually powerful the aim is not to intimidate or patronise and allow this path to become attractive even for regular park users.
Babyn Yar should be integrated as a historic landmark of Kiev, a place where people want and do come to learn more about its history in a beautiful setting.
“A Path of remembrance” does not challenge the current boarders of Babyn Yar, but it does add new depth and meaning by creating a coherent, user-friendly and logical memorial site.
Sergey Kudryashev — Architect — London, United Kingdom