Exhibition space for Utopia
Kyiv , 2018
Authors: Roman Sakh, Kostiantyn Kuchabskyi
When it came to the exhibition, we realized that we did not want to just show photos of buildings created in other cities. Much more important was to create an atmosphere of public space within a gallery space that would function for events and video screenings. We want to demonstrate our hospitality towards the visitors, and instead of a typical solution, we offer the space with work and imagination invested. The question of resource wastage bothered us in this concept. We did not want to buy new materials for the construction, which would last only a month. The breakthrough moment came when the old window frames were discovered just outside the windows of our workshop. More than two hundred frames were replaced with plastic windows and were kept outside for further utilization. For us, this is a vivid example of working in a dynamic context—materials that no one needs, but perfectly matches our tasks. You can see the code of the past in this material. For 50 years, they served in the dorm rooms; they were repainted, warmed up, and decorated, until the technology became outdated. But instead of the waste landfill, we sent them to the gallery, in the new adapted form of seats, tables, and stands, which work together with the exposition and exhibition hall and can be reorganized. That is how we detected the abandoned cinema hall in Lysychansk, the coal mine ground support in Pokrovsk, and the bridge foundation in Kostiantynivka. Humanity has become too entangled with an updating, where the new replaces the old without traces of continuity. For Ukraine, and the east especially, it is important now to use everything available—to restructure and fill the missing parts of the system. We try to follow this philosophy in our architectural practice, not to use more resources than is needed and to reveal the beauty of existing things.