Babyn Yar Memorial Site

The Babyn Yar Memorial Site was an open international architectural ideas competition for the structuring and integration of a historical and memorial area in the city of Kyiv in Ukraine.

 Babyn Yar is a complex historical symbol. For centuries, it was a multi-ethnic and multi-faith necropolis linked to the history of Kyiv. It became part of world history in Autumn 1941, when nearly 34,000 Kyivan Jews were murdered over two days in one of the largest Nazi massacres during World War II. Non-Jews were also murdered or buried at Babyn Yar during the war. In the two years of German occupation up to November 1943, this site was used as a place of execution or burial of individuals and entire groups who were considered to be enemies of the Nazis. Estimates point to at least 100,000 victims, the vast majority (over two-thirds) of whom were Jews.

 This competition was organised jointly by the UIA and the client/promoter, the Ukrainian Jewish Encounter (Canada) Charity Foundation.

Keywords : Remembrance, Transformation, Urban Landscape

Competition results

Second prize (1) : Team composed by architects Jana Petrovoić, Nejc Lebar, Maja Valentić and Miloš Kosec.

From Slovenia.

Second prize (2) : Connatural SAS.

Led by architect Edgar Ignacio Mazo Zapata (Colombia) and landscape architect Glenn Pouliquen (France).

Third prize : American team composed of Miriam Gusevich (USA), Jay Kabriel (USA) and Peter Miles (USA).

Fourth prize : Danish team composed of Ieva Baranauskaite and Yang Wang

Fifth prize : Ukrainian firm Next Space.

Composed of Valentyn Llvarov, Dmytro Kazakov, Ievgenii Kolmakov, Iryna Chaus and Olga Virchenko

Sixth prize : Ukrainian firm, Project Office “CIM”.

Composed of Goy Bohdan Volodymyrovych, Mykhailo Kohut and Yulia Minko.

Seventh prize : Swarnabh Ghosh (India), Khyati Saraf (USA) and Craig Rosman (USA).

Theme and objectives

The main objective for this competition was to create a comprehensive memory site — the “Babyn Yar—Dorohozhychy Necropolis”. The objective was to transform what was a littered woodland park/recreational park into a site conducive to reflection and respect for the victims that lie there. At the same time, this area had to remain accessible for further memorialisation efforts resulting from dialogue and the cooperation of different communities and parts of society.

Below are indications of the project’s objectives:

  • Create a clearly marked out space in which both those who came with the explicit goal of honouring the memory of the dead and regular local residents or students of the nearby colleges and universities could immediately feel the connection of the place to the tragic history of the Holocaust and other tragedies that happened there;
  • Create a space of reflection and acknowledgement of the extreme inhumanity and tragic events that occurred at the site in the past, and unite contemporary Ukrainians of all ethnic backgrounds in the spirit of mutual empathy for past sufferings, the affirmation of the value of every individual human life and aspirations for a just and humane society;
  • Present to the public, governmental institutions and the professional community ideas for creating a comprehensive memorial space as an alternative to the chaotic installation of separate monuments;
  • Create a modern holistic public memorial space which could be integrated with the city structure through the means of landscape design;
  • Employ landscape design to create a space capable of conveying to visitors the value of remembrance, as well as ideas of humanism, tolerance, democracy, civil society, human rights defence and natural and spiritual ecology — life-affirming responses to the evils of the Holocaust and other tragedies that occurred in the space;
  • Present to the public a model of quality holistic structuring and integration of an urban recreational area in a historical memorial site of global significance.

To have more information about the competition and Babyn Yar, please visit its official website.

Key criteria

The organisers of the competition suggested the following criteria for the evaluation of design proposals:

  • Open, tolerant, public, comfortable, lively, full memorial complex integrated into the structure of the city;
  • Only landscape design, no buildings;
  • No new national or religious symbols in the area;
  • Optimisation of public spaces;
  • Non-conflict space with conciliation facilities to unite society.

Jury Members

  • Barbara Aronson, Urban and town planner and landscape architect, ISRAEL;
  • Marti Franch Batllori, Landscape architect, SPAIN;
  • Heorhiy Dukhovychyi, Architect, UKRAINE; 
  • Dr. Markus Jatsch, Architect, UNITED KINGDOM;
  • Mykhaylo Hershenzon, Architect, UKRAINE;
  • Jörg Michel, Landscape architect and gardener, GERMANY;
  • Jimmy Norrman, Architect and landscape architect, SWEDEN;
  • Serhiy Tselovalnyk, Chief architect of Kyiv, UKRAINE;
  • Volodymyr Pryimak, Architect, UKRAINE;
  • Olivier Philippe, Agence Ter, UIA representative, FRANCE.


Participants in the competition were expected to be professional architects, landscape architects and urban planners who had the right to provide professional design services.

Participants could be citizens of any country.


Competition closed. Results announced September 2016.