Modernism Memorial competition results

After a slight delay..Please enjoy the Modernism Memorial competition results.

We present the results of 'Modernism Memorial' ideas competition, which invited students and young architects to reconsider the role of the monuments today (and especially the funerary ones) as well as Modernism through LC's work.

From the anonymous submissions received for the single stage competition, Modernism Memorial, the jury selected 3 winners and 7 finalists.

1st prize

005760: Emilia Karwowska, Kamila Waszkowiak

(Wrocław University of Technology)


            Urban form is the major factor in creating a living environment. This is why the most criticized and discussed modernistic concepts are urban projects. Trying to provide better living conditions, architects unintentionally created spaces which are nowadays perceived as antisocial and dehumanized.
            The most radical and - fortunately – theoretical urban project is the Voisin Plan designed by Le Corbusier in early 20s of 20th century. The concept of total reorganization of the centre of Paris became a flagship idea of modernism urbanism. What is now treated as a national treasure and one of the most touristic areas had been intended to be demolished as too small and too dense to live in. Corbusier wanted to replace it with huge, 60-storey, cross-shaped buildings, organized with the orthogonal grid and flooded in greenery, creating a new business and residential area. 
            The main  problem in that project was its lack of human scale and negative emotions it would evoke in people. In our concept we tried to recall this oppressive urban form and criticize it by confronting it with existing city and its inhabitants.
            Our new definition of a memorial monument is a farewell - a temporary structure in urban scale. Eighteen black crosses taken directly from Le Corbusier's plan will be floating above the Parisians' heads throwing a shadow on the existing urban fabric. Each cross would be built with 5760 black balloons filled with helium – the number symbolizes the amount of people meant to stay in one building. 
            The whole concept will not be easy to read from the level of the street. Its mysterious form is intended to make  people feel lost, uneasy and insecure – just as they would have felt if the Plan Voisin was built. In that sense even a person which is not familiar with the history of urbanism is able to understand the message of the installation.  To emphasize lack of human scale in modernist assumptions, the monument as a whole will be visible only via Google Maps or similar application. 
            Balloons would be used because of their fragility and temporality. Day after day, they would be getting smaller and would be constantly falling down, providing more sunshine and the dark shadow of modernist urbanism would Vanish, leaving no visible mark.
            In this way, we would like to show how the world could look like... And get rid of this.

2nd prize

199089: Dimitris Chatziioakeimidis

(Faculty of Architecture, University of Patras)

_Monuments, as a subset of memorials, refer to the materials used to memorialize an event or person. They are mnemic symbols that represent the past and their goal is public remembrance. According to Deleuze&Guattari there are two different social libidinal investments: Schizoid(open) investments of desire that are polyvocal, liberating, and productive versus Fascistic(paranoid) investments of desire that are univocal, oppressive and are organized around a despotic signifier. In the context of memorial culture, as Adrian Parr argues, a schizoid investment of desire is to extract the polyvocal movement of social energies and affects at play in the process of public remembrance. A fascistic investment is when the energies and affects, that the labour of memory produces, are coded and given a fixed meaning. This becomes crucial for a monument because meaning- that is signification and regulated representation- gets stuck on a refrain that returns us to the same story again and again. But how do we avoid connecting the monument to the one meaning or idée fixe? How do we experiment with desire instead? Such a case of experimentation (though inadvertent) is Dürer's solution for a monument commemorating a victory of the 1525 German peasant’s war. The monument, like a totem pole conveying the everyday life of peasants, consists of the life-sustaining goods and fruits of their labor, animals, and their work tools. At the peak of the composition, an 'afflicted peasant' sits atop a chicken cage, with a sword stuck in his back. As Amir Djalali argues, Dürer’s Monument to the Vanquished Peasants has always been an interpretative enigma. Some have seen it as an act of mockery, a grotesque representation, an attempt to discredit the misery of peasant life. Others interpret its forms as a passionate endorsement of the peasants’ cause. According to S. Greenblatt, the seated peasant, stabbed from behind, evokes the iconographic type known as "Christ in Distress", a supreme figure of betrayal, for the peasants were betrayed by Luther when he decided to side with the princes. At the same time, if the design was conceived in the spirit of Luther's remarks[1] the peasants themselves can be seen as traitors, and the monument would thus celebrate their just punishment. While the monument retains its commemorative, unitary form, its consumption is not univocal. These contradictions enable the monument to escape the oppressive representation trap, and produce something new. Dürer’s monument represents nothing, but it produces. It means nothing, but it works.
__Considering Le Corbusier's worldwide influential body of work and theoretical concepts, this proposal seeks a specific site that would have an equivalent impact, thus the Internet. But in this virtual place, with its almost worldwide impact, a different way of commemorating already exists, an established standard that allows for perfection to paraphrase the deceased, that is called Google Doodles.
Following the ambiguity of the raw material of Dürer’s design and the surprising fact that Le Corbusier has not got an official Google Doodle, this proposal is a Doodle memorial design, that keeps the established standards (google word), including information about the commemorated person, not with fixed hyperlinks but by laying them bare. This is because, as Proust insists, to interpret is neither to discover something that is already there, nor to create something ex nihilo, rather, it is to produce an effect on other people, to make something happen.
This proposal aims at a type of monument that no longer has meaning, a monument that is no longer to be interpreted, but works as an apparatus, a machine capable of producing meaning -that is certain truths. Specifically, these truths are created from the searching procedure via Google search engine, that will be triggered due to the specific content of the memorial's information and due to the lack of hyperlinks. This establishes a new link between remembering and creating and establishes it in a process of production as a work of art. In this regard, the modern work of art has no problem of meaning, it has solely a problem of use.

Adrian Parr, Deleuze and Memorial Culture  Edinburgh University Press,2008
Amir Djalali, The Measure of Turmoil: Dürer’s Monument to the Vanquished Peasants, San Rocco 4,2012
Deleuze & Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis,1983
Deleuze & Guattari, What is Philosophy? ,New York,1994
Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, Minneapolis,2004
Stephen Greenblatt, Murdering Peasants: Status, Genre, and the Representation of Rebellion, Representations 1,1983

[1] Panofsky claims that Dürer never wavered for a moment in his loyalty to Luther. The Life and Art of Albrecht Dürer, Princeton, 1955

3rd prize

758493: Achilleas Pliakos

(School of Architecture N.T.U.A.)

The proposal is about the recomposition and the relocation, of one of the most emblematic Modernist buildings, Villa Savoye. The selection of this building is not arbitrary. The size, the distribution of movements, the intense sculptural disposition of the design, the multilevel state of the construction and the configuration of spaces, provide the perfect alibi for the conversion of the building into a funerary monument. The whole building is being planted into the earth. The relocated construction is made entirely of concrete, one of the most characteristic materials in Modern architectural production.  Apart from the symbolism the material bears, the use of concrete can create a poetic sense of timeless space.
While approaching the place from the ground level, the visitor can only see the upper part of the concrete construction.  The big curved surfaces act as an allure for taking a closer look at the building.  Then, gradually, the depth of the installation and the multiplicity of levels are revealed.
 Walking down via the ramp you arrive at the middle level.  There you can wander in the semidarkness through the empty rooms and the other unadorned spaces.  Light passes through the small openings on the roof. Here you can have the most thorough view of the structure. At the same time that you are staring at the sky through the concrete surfaces, you can also sink into the darkness of the ground openings that slightly reveal the enigmatic essence of the bottom level.
Finally, you walk down to the lower level. What prevails here is darkness. The small beams of light that pass through the small openings of the slabs create a sense of mystery and spirituality. The smell of the earth, concrete and the humidity of the place, together with the devoutness of the emotional space, immerse the visitor into a condition of contemplation and meditation.
Villa Savoye drops its initial identity. It’s not anymore a residential project. It has become a human scale concrete structure, almost buried into the ground. The architectural space of the monument interacts with the human senses and body, and creates a totally new sensory experience of what the construction really represents. Villa Savoye transmutes into the grave of its own nature. It becomes a collector of memories, thoughts, visions, spatial qualities and frequencies. It acts like the mirror of a declined Modern utopia that is struggling to find its own identity in a constantly changing present.


119995: Will Fu
(University of Waterloo)

150372: Mathilde Blum, Jean-Philippe Degoul, Mylène Lach

(Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Strasbourg And University of Strasbourg)

963571: Marta Gil, Krzysztof Grochal, Music: Filip Porada    

(Cracow University of Technology, Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University)

483492: Disha Vanzara, Jhanvi Sanghvi ,Smit PatelShwetank Maheshwari             

(KRVIA, Mumbai University)

130492: Kostantinos Gounaridis 

(Università degli Studi di Parma)

100609: Patrycja Dylag, Jacho Przedpelski,  Jakub Andrzejewski

(Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technics)

142628: Dušan Vukmirović, Aleksandra Soldat, Igor Vukičević, Aleksandra Pešterac

(University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Technical Sciences)

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