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While the Ukraine may not come top of mind when it comes to architecture and design, its interior-design scene, with its marriage of the raw and the refined, is gaining increasing attention. Architonic takes us on a journey through Ukranian interior spaces that prove to be chic, minimalistic and experts at harnessing bold colours – they may just surprise you.
The political situation in Ukraine has been turbulent for the better part of a decade – and yet, architecture and design in the country is thriving like never before. Earlier this year, respected British architect and design writer Michelle Ogundehin selected Ukrainian interior design as one of the developing scenes to watch. And as the designs of these recently completed residential apartments suggest, Ukrainian design and architecture are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
In Kyiv, FILD Design Thinking Company has completed the compact Rybalksky Apartment. Taking the maxim ‘less is more’ to heart, the architects have created an open plan residential space with exposed concrete walls. Featuring timber flooring and built-in storage units, the home contains a centrally-located glass bathroom with an anthracite-grey curtain for privacy. The master bedroom is separated from the living space by a sliding door, creating a light-filled and fluid sense of space that is complemented by the simple, almost monochrome palette consisting of greys and other muted colours.
Blue Terracotta is another minimalist residential apartment in Kyiv. Designed by Rina Lovko, the home features an open-plan living space and radial plan. The floors consist of polished, light grey concrete, while the walls and columns have a rougher texture. Within this space, large scale-furnishings – such as kitchen units, built-in shelving and storage systems – as well as select feature walls are either terracotta red or light blue.
A less minimalist approach was taken by replus design bureau in Lviv, a city in western Ukraine that used to be part of the Austrian Empire. Located within a turn-of-the-century building, the design of the generous 35_ust residential apartment brings back some of that old-world elegance. Combining traditional parquet floor, moulding and panelling, with a muted palette of grey, magnolia and plush, contemporary furniture creates a comfortable space for a family, while skylights bring natural light deep into the building.
Back in Kyiv, Odyndoodnoho's 313 Block's Apartment is a more compact project with a distinctive raw aesthetic. The designers have chosen to leave the dividing walls within this residential apartment exposed. Painted with a transparent glaze, the Porotherm 44 ceramic blocks have been laid on their side, exposing their ribbed texture, which creates a tactile, terracotta backdrop within the space. The in-situ concrete ceilings and columns are painted white and complement the rough appearance, while the furnishings – simple and robust, yet light in colour – add a touch of comfort to this uncompromising scheme.
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