Introduction: On September 29 and 30, 1941, more than 33,000 Jewish men, women, and children were murdered in Babyn Yar, a ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kiev. This event constituted one of the largest single massacres perpetrated by German troops against Jews during World War II. Over the following two years, Germans killed upwards of 70,000 more people. Upon evacuating the city in 1943, the bodies were exhumed and burned. Babyn Yar is the international symbol of what is known today as the “Holocaust by Bullets.”
Summary: Following the War, there was increasing pressure from the public to memorialize the historic events at Babyn Yar, but these were both halted and compromised by the Soviet authorities that viewed the history of Babyn Yar as “inconvenient.” The site was instead used as a landfill, which resulted in a fatal mudslide. The topography was then further altered by other landscape interventions, and new construction erased important historical sites such as the Jewish Cemetery. Babyn Yar is also an international symbol of resistance to the Soviet policy of obfuscating and instrumentalizing the politics of memory.
Babyn Yar today is a public park, nature reserve, recreational space, memorial site, and integral part of the city with various distinct ecological zones and heritage structures. The purpose of this competition is to develop an ambitious plan that connects the different projects of the Memorial Center and grounds them in a holistic, polyphonic, and ambulatory experience of the site.
The Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center (BYHMC) seeks bold plans and daring visions to structure and guide the development of the 132-hectare site of Babyn Yar, Kyiv, the international symbol of the Holocaust by Bullets. The competition is open to students, young professionals, and established practices of architecture, art, choreography, philosophy, science, and more.
To enter this open competition, register and submit your proposal by May 15 2022 at https://babynyarmasterplan.com, where you will also find the full brief.