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Competition: IQ Public Art, Kiev

The IQ Business Centre in Kiev has announced an international design competition for a new public art work (Deadline: 10 December)

The contest seeks ‘creative ideas’ to enhance the landscape surrounding the 46,560m² IQ Business Centre, which opened in the Ukrainian capital’s Pechersk district three years ago.

The winning scheme will be erected close to the 19-storey office complex, designed by locally-based Pashenko Architectural Bureau, which features a rooftop helipad (pictured).



IQ Business Centre

According to the brief: ‘Meeting the requirements of technological, environmental and sustainable development principles, the IQ Business Centre is the first intelligent Class A + office scheme in Ukraine.

‘The IQ Public Art contest will include a selection process and several stages of discussion to determine the best project to be further implemented. Future work should be connected to the urban and architectural context so it interacts with the main ideas positioned by IQ Business Centre.’

Since Ukraine’s independence in 1991, Kiev has witnessed a surge of growth in its finance and service industries with new hotels, restaurants and office buildings opening.



IQ Business Centre

The city was rocked by the Euromaidan protests two years ago, when protesters occcupied many government buildings, 15,000 people were injured and nearly 100 killed. The city has since recovered, but the country is still witnessing armed conflict in the Donbass region.

The leafy Pechersk area, on the west bank of the river Dnipro, is one of Kiev’s most prestigious neighbourhoods. The IQ Business Centre occupies a prominent corner plot on Bolsunovskaya Street close to the city’s Motherland Monument. The building features a rooftop helipad, swimming pool, conference hall, fitness centre, retail units and lobby designed by Swanke Hayden Connell.

The winning scheme will be erected on a small hill just north of the complex and above its 229-capacity subterranean car park.

The contest is open to everyone, and applications should include a biography, short description of the proposal, a site plan and visualisations. Judges include Kiev deputy chief architect Anna Bondar, Andrew Pashenko of Pashenko Architectural Bureau and London-based artist Clemens Poole.

The winner, set to be announced on 1 February, will receive USD $3,000 and see their project delivered by next year.

How to apply


The registration deadline is 10 December and submissions must be completed by 15 December.

Contact details

Olesia Nazarenko
IQ Business Centre
13-15 Bolsunovska St.

Tel: +38 097 437 94 03

Visit the competition website for more information

MK Menhir case study: Q&A with Eddie Blake

The project architect at Sam Jacob Studio discusses lessons learned designing a new public art installation for Milton Keynes, England

Sam Jacob Studio

Sam Jacob Studio

Eddie Bake

How did your MK Menhir project deliver a suitable landmark addition to Milton Keynes public realm?

The MK Menhir is a piece about Milton Keynes designed for Milton Keynes. In some ways it was a nod to Derek Walker, the town’s planner and chief architect. The planning of Milton Keynes came from a strange hybrid of a historic British love of landscape and an infatuation with the modern landscape of Los Angeles.

The menhir aims to draw on Milton Keynes’s traditions and ideas in developing a new artwork that is both ancient in its references, modern in its appearance while deeply rooted in the story of Milton Keynes and Midsummer Boulevard. It acts as a monument to founding myths of Milton Keynes, as well as a landmark responding to the formal axis and urban design of the boulevard, itself aligned with the midsummer solstice.

Milton Keynes

Milton Keynes

Source: Image by Jim Stephenson

Mk Menhir by Sam Jacob Studio

Which architectural, material, and research methods did you use in the design of the art work?

The MK Menhir was generated by scanning the Barber-Surgeon Stone. The finished piece is a 1:1 replica of the standing sarsen stone from the Avebury stone circle, sited on a porte cochère at the top of Milton Keynes’s Midsummer Boulevard. The scanned data was used to CNC fabricate a replica from hard-coated foam, which was then coated in flip-paint. The design and construction approach were only used because they helped deliver the idea.

What issues might be important when designing public art for a new business quarter in Kiev?

Relevance is a key for public art. While not being subservient to the context, the art exists in one place, it can’t move, so its relationship to that specific place is going to inform how the piece is seen.

Robustness is always an issue in public art; somehow designing the thing exactly how it needs to appear, while being indestructible. We were lucky with the Menhir, it’s out of reach.



Barber-Surgeon Stone