A corten cube at the school site: the concept of a memorial was chosen in the village of Yagidne in Chernihiv Oblast

A corten cube at the school site: the concept of a memorial was chosen in the village of Yagidne in Chernihiv Oblast


The State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine announced the winner of the project for the best concept of the memorial complex of the Yagidny school in Chernihiv region. During the occupation of the village, 370 people were kept in the building for 28 days.

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This was reported by the State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine.

The winner of the all-Ukrainian competition was the architectural bureau Derbin Arch. The architects kept the school building, but added the visual image of a cube from which water flows. It is made of corten steel, a material resistant to atmospheric corrosion. According to the jury, the construction fits into the environment of nature and the nearby forest.

The concept of the memorial complex. Photo: State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine

The cube embodies all the suffering and fears of war. Water is the tears shed by the residents of Yagidny. The school building has been preserved to the smallest detail, with the exception of the central part, as an opportunity to move on and form new meanings. The ribbon winding around the complex – the promenade – is a symbol of the river and peace“, the State Agency describes the project.

The exhibition space is located inside and outside – in the yard there are remnants of destroyed equipment, and when you enter the building, you can come across a multifunctional exhibition space.

Among the memorial exhibits: places of executions and burials of local residents, remains of trophy equipment, caponiers, places of fortifications of the occupiers.

The winners of the competition will receive 50,000 hryvnias and the right to conclude a contract with the Reconstruction Service in the Chernihiv region for the development of project and estimate documentation.

The concept of the memorial complex. Photo: State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine

After announcing the winners of the competition, the head of the State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure of Ukraine Mustafa Nayem spoke in more detail about the financing and implementation of the project, because in social networks the creation of the memorial complex was called “out of time”.

He noted that while financing for construction has not been provided, the first priority has been determined in the reconstruction of damaged housing and infrastructure.

Everything else, including the memorial, when funding is available in due course. We hope for the help of patrons. If among the angry commentators suddenly there are those who want to finance the memorial – it will be appropriate. But you have to plan. Even planning how we will heal the wounds after the war. Not all plans will come true, but some will become reality or surpass it“, Nayem said.

Memorial plaque in Yagidny. Photo: Mustafa Nayem.

He also published the composition of the competition jury. It included:

  • Dmytriuk Oleksandr – head of the department of architecture, urban planning and housing and communal services of Chernihiv RDA, member of the Chernihiv regional organization of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine (Ukraine, Chernihiv)
  • Cooper Hanna – architect, People’s Deputy of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine of the 9th convocation (Ukraine, Kyiv)
  • Maxim Golovko – architect and co-founder of the organization “Urbanina” (Ukraine, Kyiv)
  • Oleinyk Anton – architect, co-founder of the bureau “BURØ architects” (Ukraine, Kyiv)
  • Olena is quick – Chairman of the Ivanovo Village Council of the Chernihiv Region (Ukraine, Chernihiv)
  • Igor sewed – Director of the National Memorial Complex of Heroes of the Heavenly Hundred – Museum of the Revolution of Dignity (Ukraine, Kyiv)
  • Dyomin Stanislav – architect, urban planner (Ukraine, Kyiv)
  • Polguy Valery – a resident of the village of Yagidne, a deputy of the Ivanovo village council (Ukraine, Chernihiv)
  • Zhanna’s wool – Deputy Head of the Chernihiv Regional State Administration (Ukraine, Chernihiv)
  • Nalyvaiko Petro – leading architect specialist of ARDI KA (Ukraine, Chernihiv)
  • Tetiana Mazur – Deputy Chairman of the Chernihiv Regional Organization of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine.

Restoration of the school in the village of Yagidne

An open architectural competition for the project to create a memorial complex in Yagidny, Chernihiv region, was announced on October 18, 2023.

The reason for the creation of the memorial was the tragic events experienced by the residents during the occupation. In March 2022, 370 people were held by the Russian military in inhumane conditions in the basement of the school for almost a month. Among them were 70 children and, in particular, infants.

Photo from the basement of the school in Yagidny, which was later on the cover of TIME magazine.

Then, during the occupation, 11 people died.

As noted in the State Agency for Reconstruction and Development of Infrastructure, after the release of Yagidny, residents did not want to see the school as a place of education.

They decided to create a memorial to engrave their heroic experience and historical memory of a tragic event for future generations“, the agency wrote.

13 applications were registered in the announced competition. 4 projects were submitted for consideration by the jury.

Read also: Gagged by oxygen starvation: the stories of 10 people who died as a result of captivity in the basement of Yagidny



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