When was started in Ukraine, the faculty and students of the Kharkiv School of Architecture (KhSA) were forced to flee from their city. After three weeks of being scattered across Ukraine and Europe, they decided to reconvene in Ukraine and continue their work. The school relocated to Lviv, one of the safest cities in Ukraine, in order to restart their in-person education. Various platforms and institutions in Lviv, like the Lviv National Academy of Arts, are hosting the dislocated institution and providing continuous support. The KhSA is also looking for financial support to help keep the school open.
Kharkiv: The Latest Architecture and News
Displaced in Lviv, the Kharkiv School of Architecture Continues its Ukraine-Focused Educational Program
Earlier this year the unprovoked barbaric Russian invasion of neighboring independent Ukraine forced millions of people to flee their cities and the country in search of safety. I talked to one of Ukraine’s top architects, Oleg Drozdov, who was forced to relocate his practice and architecture school he co-founded in Kharkiv, to Lviv, 1,000 kilometers to the west, next to the Polish border. His staff and professors — many of them assume both roles — resumed their work just weeks after the war broke out.
Drozdov & Partners is Transforming Schools into Temporary Shelters for Internally Displaced People in Ukraine
One of the most urgent problems faced by Ukrainians today is the unsettled situation faced by displaced citizens, along with the challenge of returning to the cities they were forced to abandon earlier this year. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy has shared that efforts to rebuild Ukraine will require ‘colossal investments’, and as leaders gather to work out ‘Marshall plan’ to rebuild the country, local architects have already begun developing emergency housing, healthcare, and educational facilities in cities further away from the Russian border.
As a temporary solution to the displacement of north-eastern and eastern Ukrainians, Drozdov&Partners, together with Replus Bureau and Ponomarenko Bureau, have begun refurbishing shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Lviv and its region, using school campuses and other large-scale facilities as temporary housing.
Norman Foster met with the Mayor of Kharkiv, Ihor Terekhov, on Monday to discuss the city's rebuilding, following discussions at the 2nd UN Forum of Mayors in Geneva. Since the onset of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the city of Kharkiv suffered significant damage due to heavy shelling, losing much of its infrastructure, including housing, hospitals, schools, cultural institutions, and historic buildings. The second-largest city in Ukraine is already planning its rebuilding, with Norman Foster undertaking the task of bringing together the "best minds" to envision the city's future.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unleashed a major humanitarian and refugee crisis, with 4.2 million people fleeing into neighbouring countries and 6.5 displaced internally. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), 18 million people are projected to become affected in the near future with the current scale and direction of the ongoing military violence. In addition to the threat to human lives, Ukraine’s culture is also at risk, as cities and historic buildings are being destroyed. In March, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has expressed concern over the damage caused to historic landmarks in Ukraine and called for the protection of its cultural heritage. The following are some of Ukraine’s most prominent architectural landmarks, which are now in danger of being destroyed amid the conflict.
Architecture may have its roots in sheltering humans from the elements, but that is not to say that architecture is for humans alone. Around the world, there are numerous examples of buildings and shelters designed by architects for other species. Some of these can be whimsical, such as the Dogchitecture exhibit by 10 Mexican architecture firms back in 2013, or the series of BowWow Haus kennels designed by over 80 architects back in 2017, including Zaha Hadid Architects. But others are designed for a more direct impact.
The Kharkiv School of Architecture is celebrating a prosperous year of academic and international achievements. In addition to hosting the nominated projects of the 2019 EU Mies Awards, the school has completed its first year of BA in Architecture. To celebrate these milestones, the school has organized a double exhibition showcasing the works of first-year students, as well as displaying the projects of Europe's most innovative architects.
By bringing together these two exhibitions, the school built a link between two generations of architects: The Mies Award, where the best works of the current European architects and designers are displayed, and the school's “Open/Work” exhibition, a glimpse into the innovations of future Ukrainian architecture.