The authors of an upcoming book on the nation’s most threatened buildings have a dramatic short film that makes a case for preservation.

Welcome to the latest installation of “Public Access,” where CityLab shares its favorite videos—old and new, serious and nutty—that tell a story about place.

When Oleksiy Bykov was studying architecture at Kyiv University of Construction and Architecture, he couldn’t even find the resources to study what was built there during the nation’s Soviet occupation. But such designs won’t be forgotten if he has anything to say about it.

The architect is co-writing the book, Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism: Buildings and Projects in Ukraine from 1960–1990 with Ievgeniia Gubkina, due out next October. They also worked with director and producer Roman Blazhan to create a video about the subject, bringing viewers right to the structures that have fallen into the background and into disrepair. And in 2015, Bykov helped put on an exhibit, “Superstructure,” highlighting the buildings.

“They symbolize the global idea of the ‘60s—the youth of the world,” Bykov declares as the video pans over Memory Park in Kiev, a monument with its own sordid history. The rounded concrete rises to a point and viewers can see the crematorium from almost every angle.

Click on this image to see CityLab's public access page.

The movement to preserve Soviet Modernism became more urgent last year when it became clear that neighboring Ocean Mall Plaza may soon swallow the the old UFO building. According to Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly, “buildings constructed between 1955 and 1991 aren’t considered a part of the city’s historical or cultural heritage.”

But in Soviet Modernism, Brutalism, Post-Modernism, Bykov’s and Gubnika’s dramatic voice-overs make a case for the historical and cultural importance of these buildings as viewers are introduced to some of Kiev’s most iconic structures, like the UFO building and the House of Furniture.

“Each succeeding generation does not only reject the previous one but does not notice it at all,” Gubkina declares. The successive architectural styles during the Soviet period were created in voids, unconnected from the generations that preceded them.

They hope that trend won’t continue.

H/T: The Calvert Journal

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Tech workers sit around a table on their laptops in San Francisco, California
    Life

    America’s Tech Hubs Still Dominate, But Some Smaller Cities Are Rising

    Despite established urban tech hubs, some smaller cities are attracting high-tech jobs with lower living costs, unique talent pools, and geographic diversity.

  2. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  3. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  4. Solar panels on a New York City rooftop.
    Environment

    New York City Passes Sweeping Climate Legislation

    The Climate Mobilization Act lays the groundwork for New York City’s own Green New Deal.

  5. Transportation

    Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet

    New data show a staggering rise in shared dockless e-scooter use nationwide. But commuting habits have seen little change since the dawn of micromobility.