This part of the city has a peculiar middle-rise scale, formed in the early twentieth century. The parcel of our small plot was just in keeping with the general land use patterns in the neighbourhood.
The building itself was a little higher that the existing scale. This gave us an idea to introduce a two-part composition, which consists of the main volume and the “superstructure/extension”, retracted from the red line. The main brick volume is followed by the “wooden” layer. Old bricks, taken from the demolished building in the neighbouring street, formed a substrate material for our project. Interestingly, those old bricks were just enough for the main brick volume in the new building. In this way the new building passes on historical “flesh” and cultural code.
Interior layout solutions are simple and sensible. There are only seven apartments, a small office and a few shops in the building. We believe that with such a small number of users, they will be able to establish sustainable neighbourly relations among themselves. Unfortunately, small-scale residential houses like this are not very popular with modern developers.
Brick, “wooden” panels and enameled glass refer to traditional architectural lexicon of Kharkov, such as wooden verandahs and extensions, wrought details. Compositional structure and details have made it possible for the house to merge with the surrounding in such an inconspicuous way that it took citizens some time to become aware of the newly-erected building. Moreover, we managed to establish an interesting dialogue with the much older adjacent building, which shares a lot with the new one, but still has its own distinctive features.
The project illustrates “cultural retrofitting” which might become a founding principle for zoning, stipulating the percentage of old and new materials to be used in construction.
Location: Chernyshevskaya str., Kharkov, Ukraine
My Role: Architects
Additional Credits: photo - Andrey Avdeenko