Activists – defenders of Hostynyi Dvir in Kyiv (Ukraine) need support!

Гостиний двір

Гостиний двір

Only a small group of activists now prevents Hostynyi Dvir, a part of city’s architectural heritage in the protected historical and cultural area of ancient Kyiv, from destruction. As these actions are supported only by enthusiasts, they need your material and moral support. Every smallest contribution matters in saving this wonderful place as an open cultural center.

About Hostynyi Dvir architectural complex

Hostynyi Dvir in Kyiv is a marketplace complex on Kontraktova Square on Podil which was built in 1809 instead of the old courtyard (built in 1760-s by the Architect Ivan Hryhorovych-Barskyi).

History of construction

In 1808 the Italian architect Luigi Rusca suggested a new design of Hostynyi Dvir in the Classicist style. The project suggested a monumental marketplace complex in the form of a closed polygon with internal auxiliary premises opening into 6 gates.

Nevertheless, the complex was not completed at once because of the fire that struck it in 1811, as well as because of the Napoleonic war of 1812. As of that time only first store was constructed, though the plan by architect Rusca suggested a two-storey building. Thus it was necessary to construct a roof and complete the project as one-storey edifice. External parts of the courtyard were enclosed with vaulted gallery, facades  (northern and southern – 100 meters long each, eastern and western – 60 meters long each) were decorated with attached columns and painted white and yellow.

First reconstruction was made in 1828 by the Chief Architect of Kyiv A.I. Melenskyi after the fire, and in the second half of 19-th century the building was reconstructed again (vaulted galleries were walled-up).

Another large-scale reconstruction was made in 1980-1982 to the celebration of the 1500-th anniversary of Kyiv under the supervision of architect V.P.Shevchenko. At the same time the second floor was constructed according to the initial design, and the building interior was refurbished.

Attempt of large-scale reconstruction

By the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine dated August 15, 2011 No. 1380 Hostynyi Dvir was excluded from the list of monuments of Ukraine protected by the state. On April 26, 2012 Kyiv City Council issued a permit for the urban development project to Ukrrestavratsiya LLC at 4 Kontraktova Square,   which stipulated the building reconstruction into a shopping and business center with a parking for visitors.  68 deputies voted “for” (later mass media published the list of their names). The opposition deputies declared that it would lead cause the reconstruction of Hostynyi Dvir into a shopping and business center.  Next day in the morning the builders started preparing to the so-called “renovation” of Hostynyi Dvir. The drilling rig was brought on the courtyard territory. The builders started working under the instructions of Osnova-Solsif contractor company without any permission documents. Moreover, the Kyiv City Council decision shall become valid and effective only after signing by the City Major and publication in community-owned media, which was not done.

Public response to Hostynyi Dvir reconstruction project

In response to the officials’ plans of creating a shopping center in the partially reconstructed Hostynyi Dvir Kyiv activists launched a protest. The Kyivans consider it inappropriate to create another shopping center, especially when it is going to occupy the territory of historical movement.

On May 26, 2012 in Hostynyi Dvir the Kyiv Day celebration started to subsequently grow into an open-ended protest. In the beginning of celebration the participants occupied the building’s internal courtyard which was previously closed for visits. Since that day activists hold numerous cultural and creative events on the territory of Hostynyi Dvir. Their goal is to create a public cultural center in Hostynyi Dvir instead of the government’s commercial project.

In the beginning of 2012 the tension around Hostynyi Dvir has built up to the critical point. On February 18, the confrontation between activists and deputies, from one side, and the Berkut SWAT squads, on the other side. The activists and deputies were beaten by the police.

© Фото: Голос Столицы /Макс Перепелица/

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