Anton Oliinyk, Chief Architect of residential district of RYBALSKY
FROM IDEA TO THE PROJECT
– Anton, could you please tell us how idea has aroused to transform the industrial array into the comfortable place for life.
– The Rybalsky project has a long history. I began to engage in this area in 2010, when I got on a workshop within the framework of CANactions, which was devoted to the Kyiv parks and embankments and directly related to the Rybalsky Peninsula and Telichka. I was especially fortunated enough that I was in the Netherlands team. Then an idea leaped in our minds to move or expand the structure of the quarter Podil on the Rybalsky Peninsula and the adjacent industrial zone.
– And what was next?
– Then we with our like-minded persons founded our company (Burør - ed.). A year and a half ago, we were asked to develop a draft of the Rybalsky Peninsula. It`s very good that seven people were involved in this business at the same time. This made it possible to finish the work rather quickly - we managed for four months.
– Why did you decide to focus on residential districts?
– We studied foreign experience and how industrial territories are being developed there. In the end, we came to the conclusion that the division into public, private and collective spaces give the city a sense of comfort. For example, I can present the modern experience of the reincarnation of industrial regions of Finland (Helsinki, Kalasatama), Denmark (Copenhagen, Southern Harbor), Germany (Hamburg, Hafensiti). The philosophy of these projects is the availability of public and private spaces, low buildings and well-developed infrastructure.
PEDESTRIAN IS IN PRIORITY
– What is the residential district of Rybalsky different from other districts of Kyiv?
– The slogan of Rybalsky "space for life" must 100% correspond to reality. Therefore, for us, the crucial point is to create an area in which the pedestrian will play a key role. In other words, we want to transform the residential area into a place for pleasant walks and good rest.
– Nowadays the ecological transport is in trend. Kyiv, as the capital of a European state, also does not lag behind current trends. Is cycle path planned in the RYBALSKY?
– On the territory of the residential district a whole network of cycling paths, which will be connected with city bikes is planned. In general, according to the state building codes of Ukraine, the developer should take care of the bicycle infrastructure in advance, but if it happened, Kyiv would have turned into Copenhagen for a long time ago (laughs - Ed.).
– Many people are curious about the fate of the industrial zone near the residential district of Rybalsky.
– Our project involves the complete revitalization (renovation - ed.) of territory, i.e. the replacement of the original features. We want to save several buildings, which are valuable for us, but the vast majority of buildings on the Rybalsky peninsula are not valuable because it is greatly damaged by corrosion.
ARCHITECTURE IS ALWAYS A VIEW TO THE FUTURE
– What are you working for right now?
– The main project, of course, is Rybalsky. Today we also take part in the reconstruction of Kontraktova Square. In addition, in 2015, we won one of the four nominations of the International Open Competition "Territory of Dignity", which was dedicated to events during the EuroMaidan. Among the many participants from 13 countries of the world, we are the only ones who took the first place among Ukrainians - in other nominations the prizes became foreigners.
– Tell us more about the nomination in which you won.
– We offered to transform the Ukrainian House into a cultural center to enable European embassies to organize exhibitions and conduct lectures for all those wishing to there. The center would operate as coworking, theater and galleries. In general, it was supposed to be a European cultural hub, because there is no similar in Kyiv.
– Personal question. Do you have any favorite architects?
– Honestly, I can not name a favorite architect. The work of our team is focused primarily on the present. And, in my opinion, the best architecture schools are Swiss, Japanese and Dutch. Despite the fact that Japan is on the other side of the world and our cultures are very different in its architecture can catch a lot of interesting details that can be applied in Ukraine.
– And why you love your profession?
– We often discuss with colleagues that architects tend to professional deformation (distortion - Ed.), Because we are working with the projects to be implemented in the future. A worthwhile project for us is one that more clearly shapes the vision of tomorrow. Architecture is perhaps one of the few professions that combines engineering, technical and artistic components.
– How Ukraine can be changed in a result of obtaining of the visa-free regime with the European Union?
– Visa-free for architects means the new friends and new experiences. In addition, after the opening of the borders, liberalization of the market and free movement of capital should begin, which will lead to sustainable development not only of the capital but also of the country as a whole.
– Are there any positive changes in the construction sector after Ukraine has declared a course towards the EU?
– So, for example, a new base of construction documentation is being developed, which will replace the Soviet standards. But just take a couple of pages and rewrite is not enough - it`s actually a very painstaking process. Because all these documents are closely related to other industries. It turns out that the formation of a new base in one thing, you need to change something in everything else.
– And what about your sphere?
– Here are some problems. Our industry or design-related issues will require further changes.
FOCUS ON FUTURE
– Let`s talk about the painfull point. Why is Kyiv built up chaotically?
– It`s a matter of a few things. Abroad, there is high competition and property is difficult to sell, so developers compete for comfort, a 25-levels building with views of the other flats is impossible to sell. Therefore, they have to devote more time to designing. In our case, there is another problem, the lack of a comprehensive urban program for construction.
- Is this the problem of the city authorities or the government?
– Actually, with the start of decentralization, these functions have to take the city. Capital is densely justified. There are many empty estates that have to be built up. Another question is how it`s going to happen. The situation, when there is a plot of 4 hundredths and the developer retreats from the fence by 30 cm and raises a house on 25 floors is bullying over the city and its inhabitants. Abroad everything is the opposite. There are whole programs that will foresee how this or that area will be built up. In our country, due to the lack of such programs, each developer does everything at his own discretion.
– How, in your opinion, will Kyiv change in the future?
– Nobody can say this. The world is very changeable. The Kyiv`s demographic will continue to grow for some time due to the fact that they are moving from the regions, but the population of the country is rapidly falling, it is a UN forecast (by 2050, 36 million people will live in Ukraine - ed.), While architecture is directly related to people. But I am convinced that with greater European integration we can begin to implement serious infrastructure projects that are so lacking in the capital. This is both public spaces and projects that are connected with historical districts. However, it`s hard for me to tell when it will happen, but I believe that it will happen!
– And finally the question of education. Do the architects teach well in the Ukrainian universities?
– Unfortunately no. And it`s not just about teachers and small salaries. Our education system is not integrated into the world community and this is a big disadvantage. Just like ignorance of English. In our universities, foreigners do not read lectures, therefore, we do not take best practice.
– By the way, and does your company attract students to work?
– Of course, we get young professionals. In fact, there is a lot of talented and active youth. There are no problems with this in Ukraine. By the way, we are still looking for new faces, so our doors are always open to talented and purposeful people.