Svitlana Smolenska: “The Heroic Period of Ukraine”: Architectural Modernism of the 1920s–1930s (online)

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Svitlana Smolenska tries to find answers to burning questions: What is the uniqueness of the industrial, civil and residential Ukrainian architecture of those years? Should it be preserved? Why is it admired abroad and still not appreciated in Ukraine? What was heroic in the architecture of Ukraine and Kharkiv – the first capital of Ukraine in 1919–1934? Industrial giants such as Dniproges and the Kharkiv Turbine Plant, the new cities of Zaporizhzhia and New Kharkiv, grandiose metropolitan projects: the ensemble of Svoboda (Freedom) Square – the largest square in Europe and other examples of avant-garde architecture built or designed in those years will be presented. Why they lost their authenticity in subsequent decades and how a new war threatens the preservation of the heritage of Modernism in Ukraine today will be discussed in the lecture.

Svitlana Smolenska is a lecturer with extensive academic experience focused on architectural monuments restoration. For a long time she has been working on modernist architecture in Ukraine and the possibilities of its renewal. Since 2018 she is Professor at Kharkiv School of Architecture (Department of Architecture and Urbanism).

This event is organized in collaboration with Royal College of Art in London as part of the Postgraduate Research Lecture Series 2021/22 and as part of the recent exhibition of the Centre for Documentary Architecture, The Matter of Data: Concrete Narratives across the Sykes-Picot Border.



Vítkova 2, Prague 8
Czech Republic
WED-FRI 13-19, SAT 14-18