Following news of Edelburg Development's plans to completely remodel the modernist facade of Dytiachyi Svit (Kids’ World), one of Kyiv's most notable modernist buildings from the Soviet era, and replace it with an "unrecognizable" vibrant and contemporary design, members of the community and activists protested against the intervention, forcing all parties to agree on a design competition to restore the historical facade. Dmytro Aranchii Architects was selected as the winner of the competition, with a proposal that "traces the transition from the original building to the new one" in a minimalistic and recognizable stylization, preserving the original facade and complimenting it with a contemporary intervention.
Built near the Darnytsia metro station, the Soviet Modernist building Dytiachyi Svit was constructed in 1987, and is known for its gold-colored aluminum facade modules that serve as protection from the sun. The building is considered as one of the few remaining architectures of "authentic Soviet modernism" on the left bank of the Dnipro River in Kyiv, and since in recent years, numerous buildings with historical value have been demolished and replaced with big commercial projects, activists launched a movement to protect structures from the Soviet era and other notable moments in history that have defined the city's skyline.
The winning proposal offers the new building's envelope a solution that finds a common ground between the demands of the community and developers. The design preserves the modernist facade, focusing on the existing volume and its three-dimensional modules made of anodized aluminum, and uses gradient techniques to merge the modules of both building features. The original protruding units are seen on the corner of the facades closest to the existing shopping center, and gradually dissolve into minimal, two-dimensional planes.
The design is divided into three different yet related types of facade elements: the first being a module identical to the original one made of anodized aluminum or composite with anodized aluminum, the second being a flat module with seams that make it similar to the original modules, and the third being a flat module but with an outline that refers to the existing ones and is placed in the form of a shifted pattern on the planes of the facades. The ratio in which each element is distributed is 5%, 25%, and 70%, respectively.
The space between the two volumes is joined by multiple-glazed windows which follow the arrangements on the facade of the Dytiachyi Svit, but on an enlarged scale. The ground floor is proposed to be entirely glazed for the purpose of detaching the floor from the rest of the facade, which compliments the visual definition of the existing building, and second, to provoke maximum interest of passers-by and diversify the urban layout.
The design team consists of Vladlena Volhushyna, Anna Sotnyk, Nikita Soldatkin, and Vladyslav Tsykal.