Design Thesis Projects 2017 - 2018
Struk Center Image

REDESIGNING INDEPENDENCE SQUARE

Olena Struk
Advisor: Terri Fuglem

Independence Square is the main square in Kiev, Ukraine’s capital city, and has a long history as a place where people gather to fight for their rights; a place of political protest and rebellion against the government’s actions. In 2014, Independence Square took the centre of the world stage, when what started as a peaceful protest of students expanded into a bloody war between the Ukrainian government and civilians. People wanted to express their concern over the government’s ever strengthening relationship with Russia, and instead show their support for a greater integration with western Europe. It was a point of time when people believed that with the power of unity, they could change the lives of Ukrainians for the better. During the winter of 2014, Independence Square was heavily damaged, and became the site of 98 civilian deaths.

This thesis project intends to explore Independence Square’s social, cultural, and political relationship within its larger urban and national context and how this relationship has evolved over time. I believe that the main square of a country should act as an arena for historical education, national celebration, dialogue and when necessary, peaceful protest. This can be achieved in Independence Square through architectural spaces that embody the principles of freedom and democracy, in combination with historical architectural details that are bound into the archetypes and collective narrative of Ukrainian culture. Together, this combination has the potential to create a space that reflects the past, present, and future of Ukraine as a sovereign and independent country.

Image 1:  Memory box 1
Image 2:  Memory box 2
Image 3: A place in the sun
Image 4: Kyiv masterplans
Image 5: Kyiv masterplan analysis

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