Industrial temple for cultural prayers
Pokrovsk , 2017
Type: Urban intervention
Authors: Kuchabskyi Kostyantyn, Roman Sakh, Anastasia Parafeniuk, Vita Bazan
The location for the public space - Sobornyi Square (former Gorky Park) - had been shown to us by the municipality representatives. It is located on the city axis, connecting the railway station and the central square. During the Soviet times it was an entertaining amusement park, but the only thing left until now is the concrete foundation. Now the biggest part of square’s territory is occupied by the fenced orthodox church. There is a monument to the WWII soldiers, which makes the square also a memorial place. It has now became semi-public and rather transit place, where only the boulevard on one side is actively used. There are many educational institutions of the city in pedestrian accessibility from the square: Donetsk national technical university, school, art school, the station of young technicians. The City Council building is also close. These two categories of city authorities and student self-government were the most active in our discussions and subsequently during the implementation. Separately, it is worth to highlight our excursion to the mining training ground. Its design - a row of metal composite arches inspired us for a spatial solution of the future public space. Our goal was to create a space for outdoor classes for schoolchildren and students, with the opportunity to conduct lectures, seminars, discussions, workshops, as well as a venue for city events, performances, film screenings, poetry readings and other cultural leisure. At the same time, we wanted it to work without events, even for one person, and to inspire for new forms of interaction in the urban environment. In the process of working on the project, we actively communicated with locals. The project was developed in cooperation and support of the city administration and public utilities, which provided all equipment and electricity. The Pokrovsk Mine Office agreed to give us 7 coal mine barrings for free to create a public space, which was the starting point for a spatial and conceptual solution. The project was developed by successful cooperation of local businessmen, students, NGOs, church workers, who gave us an opportunity to use it as the night warehouse for the equipment and materials. In cities like Pokrovsk young people rarely stay for life and often moves to big cities. Such platforms for active people is a good reason to stay and organize something for their own interest. We took a concrete platform left after the amusement park as a public space basis. It has became both a floor and a foundation for the construction. It is very important for us to reuse the materials both for practical (less budget) and ideological reasons. The rusted metal arches and recycled brick in combination with the rough timber create an industrial appearance that is coarse and not common for public spaces in Ukraine. For such industrial city as Pokrovsk we consider it important to respect and demonstrate its own history. On the other hand, it is important to rethink it. Here arches familiar to every miner became a part of the transparent temple's canopy, through which the sky is visible, but without doors and fences. It is the temple of culture and creativity that replaces the industrial paradigm. One of the locals wrote on the Internet that this is the first space built in the city not for commercial purposes in many years. This explains a lot about the situation in Ukraine. We saw it as our task to show that with good communication and cooperation of different urban formations, by attracting different specialists, with a small budget, using much of what already exists and have not used by anybody, by the efforts of volunteers and those who cares, we can create a space that evokes emotions. Space of opportunities and interactions, an urban theater, but not a place for passive consumption.