Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture
Krutogirnyi discent, 21
We intend to revive a historical building complex, which is situated on 21 Krutohirna Street in the centre of modern Dnipro and used to be a part of the residential area in Polovitsa settlement back in the 1760-1770s. Historical documents state that in the 18th century the city already designed a network of streets and districts in this area. An estate overlooking the hill known as Musmanska mountain was situated at this location according to “Plan of Yekaterinoslav city with newly created buildings for factories” (1793). We have conducted an architecture and historical research and found out that according to “Whole Yekaterinoslav" calendar, published in 1913 by L.Satanovsky: "This is the oldest part of the city. There used to be once famous Cossack winterers ..., there was also Polovitsa, which Potemkin chose for Yekaterinoslav. Here was the first story of Yekaterinoslav, ... not yet official, but already noble. Here for the first time settled the aristocracy of Yekaterinoslav. There are many spacious noblemen estates with shady gardens and services". The complex consists of three buildings constructed in different periods which were referred to as Old, New, and Secretarial one. The Old building dated 1852 is designed in the classic Yekaterinoslav residential style of the first half of the nineteenth century, its design is attributed to Alexander Ton, the architecture academician. The New building was attached in 1900-1902 on Krutohirna street. Besides other rooms, it includes a lobby with a grand marble staircase as well as a large, richly decorated meeting room on the second floor. The Secretarial building was started as a separate building in the spring of 1904 and was later connected to the Old building by a passageway. It was initially designed for the insurance department with the apartment for the secretary of government. Since the revolution of 1917 this complex served for various administrative services of military units. No reconstruction or overhauling was undertaken here for more than 100 years, so the original complex layout, interior, and facades remained untouched ever since. Our team of professional architects, historians, and cultural specialists suggests an integrated approach aiming to preserve the originality and authenticity, identity and historical value of this building. Having studied its long history, we have developed a holistic concept that complies with the existing complex. It safeguards its historical planning and spatial structure in order to give a second life to the place with regard to the needs of modern local society. Revitalization of this building into Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture reveals its potential and prospects for sustainable development. The central hall of the Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture welcomes into the main entrance lobby decorated with a colonnade. The grand staircase with marble steps and authentic forged fencing will be protected as historical heritage. Other rooms of the Old building will be converted into bookstores, a library and a gallery. Tall arched windows let plenty of the daylight into the rooms making them suitable for presentations or art studies here. The conference hall on the second floor is luxuriously adorned with well-preserved stucco decoration and its entrance is graced with the sculptures of the Atlantes. According to our concept, the carefully restored hall is intended for concerts, large presentations and conferences. Administrative and management offices will take both floors of the Secretarial building as the existing cabinet structure perfectly suits this purpose. The spacious rooms of the New building are reserved for event spaces and auditoriums. The second floor will become a hostel for residents and guests of the Dnipro Center for Contemporary Culture. In the heart of the Old building, a small cafe of 45 sq. m. conveniently interconnects all the functional blocks of the building. Cafe visitors will enjoy a separate exit to the courtyard of 1500 square meters which includes two terraces, an open exhibition space, a playground and a seating area in the shade of trees. The concept plays on the contrast between the authenticity of old architecture and contemporary minimalistic design, preserving the imperfections of old materials and safeguarding the history. It supplements antiquities with functionality and simplicity. Whatever solution we agree upon, our first priority is the historic value of the place and original design, therefore our solutions harmoniously amalgamate the past and the present, with minimal intervention and maximum design functionality. Preserving and revitalizing the monument of architecture is the only way to ensure that the future generations will see and value historical heritage bequeathed to us. Grateful attitude to the past is an indicator of our awareness and the level of our culture.