MH17 Memorial + Park


MH17 Memorial + Park

Registration is closed. Competition is over. Please see the results of the competition in our blog!

matterbetter is inviting young architects and students to participate in open-ideas international competition for MH17 Memorial + Park in Amsterdam. This competition aims to explore and research possible themes and directions of the Memorial representation. Matterbetter team is the only organizer of this competition. Any references to the involvement of the municipality of Amsterdam in this project are incorrect.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) was a scheduled international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur that was shot down on 17 July 2014, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The Boeing 777-200ER airliner lost contact about 50 km (31 mi) from the Ukraine–Russia border and crashed near Torez in Donetsk Oblast, Ukraine, 40 km from the border.

The aircraft crashed outside Hrabove, near Torez in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast.The fireball on impact is believed to have been captured on video. Photographs from the site of the crash show scattered pieces of broken fuselage and engine parts, bodies, and passports. Some of the wreckage fell close to houses in Hrabove. Dozens of bodies fell into crop fields, and some fell into houses.

All 283 passengers and 15 crew died. The crew were Malaysian and 193 passengers were Dutch, while many of the other passengers were Australians and Malaysians. By 19 July, the airline had determined the nationalities of all 298 passengers and crew.

Among the passengers were delegates en route to the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, including Joep Lange, a former president of the International AIDS Society, which organized the conference. Also on board were Dutch senator Willem Witteveen Australian author Liam Davison, and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay. At least twenty family groups were on board the aircraft, and eighty of the passengers were children.

MH17 Memorial Competition

Mission Statement:
An international open ideas competition for architects and students is initiated to remember and honor the victims of the MH17 tragedy. This man-made tragedy has influenced thousands of lives in direct or indirect manner across the entire world. Most of all this tragedy has affected the Netherlands - the Dutch nation that lost 193 souls in this catastophe. Therefore Amsterdam, the departure point of this one way flight, was selected as a location for the MH17 Memorial.

MATTERBETTER has proposed to design an artificial island in the IJmeer in Amsterdam as a foundation for the MH17 Memorial. We believe that the memorial has to be for everyone - the place for the people who are directly connected to the tragedy and for the population of the world in general. Because of its location the memorial has to be addressed to a broader public, as it will be visited by various groups of people. It should form a new public space - the place for remembrance, ceremonies, recreation, private gatherings and should become a vital point of the Amsterdam cultural infrastructure.

MH17 Memorial has to be free from the political overtone and should not directly express the tragedy in a type of a monologue - it should allow individuals to experience through the space and form their own memories and emotions. Human presence is vital. The Memorial has to become an inviting place open for physical interaction, the place that honors remembrances, respect for life and a preservation of peace.

It was decided that the MH17 Memorial site will accomodate a landscape park in addition to its main purpose in order to become a green axis that will connect the Old Center and the North of Amsterdam and strengthen the location that is reclaimed from the water - symbolizing traditional collaboration of the Dutch people with the nature.

Participants are asked to design a new island for the MH17 Memorial in the Amsterdam “Internal Sea” - IJmeer, situated between the Java-eiland and Amsterdam-Noord, the rapidly developing part of the city. The size and configuration of the new artificial island is up to the participants and can be up to 8Ha within the borders of the highlighted area in the DWG drawing (please see the Download Section). The site can be accessed by popular water transport (ferry/taxi) via nearby stations. The site is only 1800m away from the Amsterdam Central ferry station and is located right next to the Oostveer Ferry Station route.

The maximum building/structure height on the site is 30m. The minimum height of the new artificial island above the water level is 1.3m in order to be protected from the possible floods in the IJmeer.

The main objectives of the competition are:
- embody the goals and spirit of the mission statement;
- to generate public discussion of the memorial program, location and main goals;
- to generate discussion in the professional environment;
- to provide the maximum freedom of design decision making to all participants;
- and last, but not the least – to make a world a better place.

Evaluation Criteria:
- Creative approach: aesthetics and originality
- Emotional power
- Connection with the rest of the city
- Sustainability and Functionality
- Realization of the maximum potential of the site and internal harbour
- Clarity and comprehensibility of the overall design.

20th of September 2014 – Official announcement of the competition.

20th of September 2014 - Start of the registration period.
31st of October 2014 – Deadline for submission of questions.
21st of December 2014 – Registration Deadline (23:59 team local time).
5th of January 2014 – Closing date for submissions (23:59 team local time).
10th of January 2015 – 18th of January 2015 – Jury evaluation.
25th of January 2015 – Announcement of results.

Architects, students, engineers, and designers are invited to participate in the competition.
We encourage you to have multidisciplinary teams.

Participants must register by December 21, 2014
Early Registration: 60 EUR until 31st of October, 2014.
Standard Registration: 80 EUR from 1st of November till 31st of November
Late Registration: 100 EUR from 1st of December till 21st of December
Teams can be represented by a maximum number of 5 participants. Individual entries are also accepted.
After your registration has been approved matterbetter will send you the unique 6-digid Team Code and a Password (within 24 hours), which will be necessary for the design proposal submission.

The total money prize is 6000 EUR (more than 7500 USD).
1st place: 3000 EUR + certificate
2nd place: 2000 EUR + certificate
3rd place: 1000 EUR + certificate
Honorable Mentions Award: 7 Awards + certificate
Editor’s Choice Award – granted individual publication on our blog and social media pages to three entries that are carefully selected by matterbetter editors.
Top 50 – Fifty short-listed entries featured in one single online publication on our blog and social media pages.

Tom Verebes (HK) - Director of the AA Summer School, Professor at Hong Kong University
Erik Schuldenfrei (US) - Founding Partner ESKYIU, Assoc. AIA, Ph.D.
Wim de Wagt (NL) - Art historian & Architectural Critic, Author of the book Art of Remembrance
Cristina Cassandra Murphy (US), Owner XCOOP, former OMA
Julie Beckman (US) - Partners of KBAS
Juliano Monteiro (BR), Director of Juliano Monteiro Studio
Christopher Pommer (CA), Partner of PLANT
Sergio Ekerman (BR), Director of Sergio Ekerman Studio
Daria Polozkova (NL/RU), Founder The ART GLOBE and art-director of Mir-Expo.

More information about the competition can be found in a Brief PDF in the Download section. If you have any questions, send them with the subject FAQ to the info(at) before 31st of October. We will publish answers on our BLOG on 5th of November. Check our facebook page and twitter for latest updates! 

Matterbetter is not responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the information provided on other websites that have links to the site and is not responsible for consequences caused by any inaccuracy of this information.


In the download section you will find detailed competition Brief, that we encourage to read carefully in order not to miss any important details, and updated Memorial Island site DWG. If you have any questions regarding these documents, do not hesitate to contact us via info(at) with FAQ in the e-mail subject. Please submit all questions before 31st of October. Answers will be published on 5th of November.