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An Edifice on a Precifice

Edifice Precipice

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AN EDIFICE ON A PRECIPICE

 

Year: 2015
Originally produced for Bartlett Lobby Magazine together with James Taylor Foster

Photography of Obolon Raion by Anna Shtrittmatter. Other images sourced freely by the authors.

 

Kyiv is a city of golden domes and anarchic expansion. Within this metropolis, anchored by its patchwork of churches and monasteries, sits Obolon Raion: a relatively new district, planned in the mid-1960s. It is densely residential, comprising of high-rise, high-cost new housing blocks in a city which can draw its history back to the 9th century BC. Kyiv is a place which has born witness to both incremental and drastic change in it’s urban topography over the course of the last century alone. Above all, it is a city in which political corruption and social indifference is cemented into its very fabric.

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This block, located on Prospect Heroiv Stalingradu 4, embodies these ubiquitous traits. Atop this collage of apartments sits a volume which is both an anachronism of it’s local context and, at the same time, a traditional anchor on the city’s skyline. A guilded onion dome, clad in Orthodox iconography and pinnacled with a cross, has been illegally homogenised into the existing structure.

AN EDIFICE ON A PRECIFICE

There is a subconscious syndrome of indifference in Ukraine. Although it exists outside of the law, this parasitical expansion is the formal representation of a lack of proper municipal authority. Residents recognise that this is wrong but they’re indifferent to it. This particular golden dome represents a collective stasis between the passive population and its wealthy, active few.

 

Is this simply a harmless product of the societal culture—a kitsch representation of modernity—or an aggressive symbol of broken authority?

Edifice Precipice

Maksym Rokmaniko | Edifice Precipice| anarcitects

 

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