Kokkugia (Roland Snooks, Robert Stuart-Smith)

Babi Yar Memorial, 2010-2012

A fissured mineral monolith whose centre seems to have been consumed by a torrent of bronze rises on a snow-covered landscape traversed by fluctuating lines. Kokkugia’s proposal for the Kiev holocaust memorial competition is an “inverted monument” which, instead of contemplation, proposes an immersion in an environment blending nature and artifice. The compact mass occupied by the exhibition galleries, which seems precariously balanced due to the cantilever, contrasts with the excess of material that characterises the memorial site itself; eschewing any metaphorical component, the architects designed it in terms of visual and spatial intensity. The complex 3D motifs are the result of self-organisation procedures, like the landscape lines resulting from the interaction of agents within a “loaded” field with magnetic and electric properties. Kokkugia here uses digital tools to generate effects and affects, in this tension that comes from the confrontation of form with informality and of sobriety with excess.

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou

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