Dutch embassy best post-Soviet building in Kiev

The Dutch embassy in Kiev is regarded by Ukrainian urban planners and architects as the best post-Soviet building in that city. This is stated in an article in the independent magazine, the Kyiv journal Hmarochos, which reports on urban developments in the city of Kiev.

The Dutch embassy in Kiev was designed in 2001 by atelier PRO, led by architect Hans van Beek with the cooperation of Dorte Kristensen and René Souverijn. Contemporary urban planners in Ukraine believe the building is a leading example of how modern architecture carefully fits into the historical context of the old city of Kiev. Respect for the context is very important, especially in Kiev.

The challenge of the project was the need to place a new building between a two-story building from the 17th century and a four-story building from the 19th century. It was to be a modern building in harmony with the surrounding historical buildings, but without pseudo-historical imitations.

The Ukrainian co-architects at that time, Vadym Zaplatnikov and Larysa Merkulova from Garazd Architects, conducted a lot of extensive research then on the historical context of the site, including all buildings of the adjacent part of Kontraktva square. All this information has played a role in the design and materialization.

In the article, Hans van Beek and co-architects Vadym Zaplatnikov and Larysa Merkulova explain the design vision and how the concept came about. In addition, other architects from Ukraine give their opinion on the design, such as the chief architect of Kiev at the that time Serhiy Babushkin, architect Vladimir Smirnov and the Dutch ambassador.

It is certainly not a monument of the architect, but a contemporary building that in 2020 is still being considered as a tribute to the historic canvas of the city.

Read the full article here.