“THE HEROIC PERIOD IN ARCHITECTURE OF UKRAINE”: MODERNISM OF THE 1920s-1930s
Svitlana Smolenska tries to find answers to burning questions: What is the uniqueness of the industrial, civil and residential Ukrainian architecture of those years? Should it be preserved? Why is it admired abroad and still not appreciated in Ukraine? What was heroic in the architecture of Ukraine and Kharkiv - the first capital of Ukraine in 1919-1934? Industrial giants such as Dniproges and the Kharkiv Turbine Plant, the new cities of Zaporizhzhia and New Kharkiv, grandiose metropolitan projects: the ensemble of Svoboda (Freedom) Square - the largest square in Europe and other examples of avant-garde architecture built or designed in those years will be presented. Why they lost their authenticity in subsequent decades and how a new war threatens the preservation of the heritage of Modernism in Ukraine today will be discussed in the lecture.
Svitlana Smolenska is a professor of architecture history and theory at the Kharkiv School of Architecture. Her expertise is on urbanism and landscaping, architecture and town planning of the 20th century as a cultural heritage as well as methods of urban environment research and public participation in urban planning. Svitlana authored numerous articles published in architectural professional journals and books in Germany, Italy, Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. She also worked as an expert and consultant of ISC20C of ICOMOS.
This lecture is organised in collaboration with VI PER Gallery Prague as part of the recent exhibition of the Centre for Documentary Architecture, The Matter of Data: Concrete Narratives across the Sykes-Picot Border31.03.-21.05. 2022