New opportunities for the Ivan Honchar Museum in Kyiv

/ Architecture /

Architect Victor Zotov, founder of the ZOTOV&CO bureau, presented the concept of reconstruction of the National Center of Folk Culture "Museum of Ivan Honchar". The center should be spacious, accessible and multifunctional, not archaic, Viktor Zotov is sure.

The museum was founded in 1993, and the foundation of its funds was the collection of the Ukrainian artist and sculptor Ivan Honchar. The complex is located on Lavrskaya Street, on the busy route from the Arsenalnaya metro station to Pevchemy Field. The exhibition halls are located in the building of the former office of the Kyiv governor-general, which is a monument of architecture of the XVIII-XIX centuries. Art studios and workshops were located in the two-story wing adjacent to the "Governor's House".

National Center of Folk Culture "Museum of Ivan Honchar". Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Today, the buildings and premises of the museum are in need of repair and restoration. Viktor Zotov believes that this is a reason for careful reconstruction, which will allow to significantly expand the functional spaces, because the cultural center is acutely short of space for events and activities.

The conceptual proposal, which was developed by the ZOTOV&CO bureau, involves the abandonment of the outdated corridor system, which will make it possible to increase the internal spaces due to re-planning, and rethinking the function of the courtyard - it will turn into an open area where more than a thousand people can comfortably accommodate.

Site plan. Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

First of all, the approaches to the cultural center will be freed for pedestrians, and Lavrskaya Street will be cleared of traffic police and parked cars. "There is a lot of transit here. Someone is walking from Arsenalna, or someone has driven up, it is full of people, almost all year round. This can be used to support an institution that lacks funding from the state," says Viktor Zotov and suggests using two small buildings on both sides of the entrance arch as museum shops and cafes with authentic interiors.

In order to turn the courtyard, which is currently used as a parking lot, into a square for concerts and fairs, it is necessary to remove the central flower bed, which interferes with visitors. The flowerbed can be moved to the lower left corner of the site (on the plan), and a bicycle parking lot can be arranged next to it. The centenary ash tree at the entrance to the "Governor's House" will be the focal point of the museum square.

This is what a courtyard-square can look like. Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

The trodden lawn in the upper right corner of the site (plan) can be turned into a small garden, and the narrow gap between the stone fence and the wall of the "Governor's House" into a garden of sculptures under the terrace resting on thin metal supports. The terrace on the level of the second floor of the museum will allow visitors to admire the panorama of the Lavra and the Dnieper.

Visitors will be able to admire the views of the Dnieper, and then descend from the terrace to the "Theatrical Garden". Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

The architects propose to make the entire open space as barrier-free as possible by removing metal fences and thresholds at the entrances.

The main meaning of interventions in the structure is already known - to change the ratio of service and public spaces. Today, only 39% of the area of ​​the center is accessible to visitors. Service premises occupy 42% of the area and a disproportionately large area (13%) is occupied by corridors, which are functionally used only for transit.

The redevelopment proposed by Viktor Zotov makes it possible to make 79% of the area public, and only 13% will be given to employees, who will have to move from small individual offices to open space. It is possible to significantly increase the exhibition area due to the attic space, which is not used today.

Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

Image: ZOTOV&CO Source:

Viktor Zotov himself admits that the project, despite its attractiveness, can remain at the level of conception. "I must say that the work of our bureau is more expensive than the proposals of companies that are usually involved when it comes to the reconstruction of state institutions. And projects for state institutions always go through tenders, where today the only criterion for victory is price. It turns out that we have no chance," says the architect.

More detailed information about the reconstruction project of the National Center of Folk Culture "Ivan Honchar Museum" can be obtained at website of the architectural bureau ZOTOV&CO. And we will devote a material in the March volume of PRAGMATIKA.MEDIA to the topic of desirable changes in the procedures for conducting architectural competitions.