Around the globe, the post-war years were a period of optimism and extreme experimentation. On both sides of the cold war’s ideological divide, this optimism found its greatest expression, architecturally speaking, in modernism - but of course, the particular circumstances of each city offered a unique spin on the modernist project. According to the curators of “Superstructure,” an exhibition presented at Kiev’s Visual Culture Research Center from January 28th to February 28th, the utopian architectural works of Kiev represented ”an attempt to transform the city into the environment for materialization of artistic thinking – in contrast to the strict unification of city space by typical construction and residential blocks.” Architects such as Edward Bilsky and Florian Yuriyev, often working in collaboration with artists such as Ada Rybachuk and Volodymyr Melnychenko attempted to create projects that were a complete synthesis of architecture and art – an approach to design that often didn’t sit well with the Ukrainian authorities of the time.
Featuring research by Alex Bykov, Oleksandr Burlaka and Oleksiy Radynski, “Superstructure” examined the projects which were typical of this particular cultural moment in Kiev. After the break, we present this research, and a selection of images from the exhibition.
The City of Kyiv has launched an international design competition aiming to commemorate the lives lost in Ukraine‘s Maidan Revolution, both through a memorial to their memory and through implementing the ideals of the revolution in the urban space surrounding Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The competition, honed through months of public discussions and consultations, is being organized by the Kyiv City State Administration and Ukraine’s Ministry of Culture. More details after the break.
The top prize in CANactions‘ 2014 Youth Competition has been awarded to Valentyn Sharovatov of Unika Architecture & Urbanism, for his ”Extrasmall Shopping Mall”, a design for a miniature shopping center on a tight site on Lviv. CANactions is Ukraine‘s largest architectural event, running since 2008.
The design by Sharovatov activates a neglected public square, using the draw of cafes and retail to regenerate this small corner of Lviv. More on the design after the break.
In a fascinating article for the Guardian, Owen Hatherley visits Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev, the public square at the heart of the Ukranian revolution that ironically was designed under Stalin as a Baron Hausmann-style weapon against uprisings. Hatherley examines how elements of the public space were utilized by protesters, and how different areas of the square are now hosting a variety of political factions. You can read the full article here.
The recently announced ‘User-Generated Kyiv Ideas Competition‘ is searching for creative ideas and architectural solutions on building a better city. In nowadays circumstances, where citizens arise and understand that a city should be built by its citizens, the competition aims to convert the maximum energy generated by the revolutionary wave into urban ideas and new functions of public space.
UPDATE: The registration
is open until March 17 has been extended to April 25th (18:00 Kiev time) and projects must be submitted by April 17 April 27th (18:00 Kiev time). For more information, please click here.
Dmytro Aranchii Architects shared with us their proposal for the cultural space on the Andriivskyi descent, an educational competition sponsored by ESTA Holding earlier this year. The challenge was to create an architectural concept of the Yunist factory former site development, and out of 1 hectare, the competition terms determined the cultural space as 10-15 percent of the area linked to the Andriivskyi descent, and the rest of it was for commercial use. This consists of a multifunctional cultural space with an integrated chamber music hall. Besides the hall, the architects suggested to place a literature space in the cultural center suitable for seminars, conferences, meetings of readers and writers, poets and essayists, as there is a lack of such place in Kyiv. More images and architects’ description after the break.
With the main challenge of providing an environment for the prosperous IT business incubator in Kharkov city, the design by ZA Architects creates favorable conditions for the creation and development of the new ideas in the multi-component environment. The design backbone is the provocation of communication between people, casual acquaintances, experience sharing, receiving of new knowledge and social events of all kinds. More images and architects’ description after the break.