The Obolon Residential buildings, Kiev

Two experimental tower buildings from the second Obolon neighborhood (of 17 and 22 floors), which have been built using climbing formwork. The buildings have been assembled using monolithic cast structures and ferroconcrete. The buildings can be found in Drujba Narov square, at no. 2 and no. 2a. People used to call them “Romashky” (“The Chamomiles”) and “Kukuruzy” (“The Corns”) because of the resemblance between the shapes of the buildings and the plant.

 Drujba Narodov square, no. 2
It’s the first monolithic building of Kiev, dated to 1981. It has 15 functional floors. The building looks quite unusual, because of the circular, half-circle balconies. The windows are no regular windows, but entire walls of glass, in between the room with the balcony.

At the base of the building there is a small plinth surrounded by pylons. On the same level with the plinth are the entrance, the staircase and the elevators.

The fire escape has a special design: because there are no classical balconies with access to the fire escape, a metal structure built indoors is connecting the roof fire escape to a vertical evacuation system. There are 6 apartments on each floor: 2 two-bedroom apartments, a one-bedroom apartment and another three-bedroom apartment. The building was created using casing structures with a hard monolithic center.

Arhitects: Budilovsky M., Kolomiets V., Katsin V., Morozov V., Ivanov I.
Engineers: Drizo V., Shapiro I., Ivanov O., Karpets D.

 Drujba Narodov square, no. 2a

This is a 1990 building. It is constructed in simpler fashion than the previous building, but it still has an innovative look and feel. The plinth at the base of the building is almost 2 stories tall and is surrounded by pylons. Here you can find the hallway and the technical installations. Going up, you can find the technical floor, other 20 floors and the upper technical floor.

Ladnyi V. is the architect behind it.

What makes this building unique is the height – before the construction of modern buildings in the mid 90’s, this was the tallest building in Kiev. It measures 75 meters (27 floors)

The soviets considered these buildings to be elite. The buildings keep this prestigious status by having a doorkeeper, wide hallways and an efficient distribution of space. It is sad though that the facades have suffered chaotic renovations. Some balconies are covered with white double glazing, while others used wooden glazing. Satellite dishes keep being installed, despite of the disharmonious look they create. Also, some apartments have been thermally rehabilitated, leaving the building looking like it is still work in progress.

The ideal solution would be thermal isolation, but with great care towards the initial style of the building. It’s important to preserve the grey facade (aeroconcrete look and grey nuances) and make sure that the balcony closings will be made using materials as similar as the original as possible. Also, the roof of the seconds building needs renovation.

Lev Shevchenko

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