top of page

New Center for Innovation and Startup promotion of Chernihiv

The city of Chernihiv, located northeast of Kyiv and only 50 km from the border with Belarus, has been a recurring point of attack by Russian troops. Due to its conflictive location, its citizens not only experience a psychological war, but are also recurring victims of Russian bombings on special dates and celebrations. Although the battles have been carried out in the surrounding towns - see projects for the town of Yahidné and Ivanivka - the bombings of the city have caused damage both at the housing and monumental levels.

This is the case of the Old Victoria Cinema Building, a large building that is located one block from Chernihiv Polytechnic University. The destruction of this old cinema is postulated as an opportunity to be rehabilitated with a new proposal for interior architecture and to rethink the program.

Project Type: Public Infrastructure /Remodeling

Render Exterior.jpg

Imagen: New Innovation Center for Startup Promotion of Chernihiv

The Current Building

The current Victoria Cinema building consists of 3 main rooms intended for the projection of films and theater, a dark corridor that connects the rooms and a rough access to the building. It was built under the Russian command in 1945 as a milestone of the victory of the Allies over the Germans in the Second World War and is a tangible example of the strong imposingness of Soviet architecture on the city.


The internal darkness of the building is not only due to the little light required for movie theaters, but, as can be seen in its other spaces, it seems to obey an intention to generate a feeling of fear and subordination inside.

The remnants of this building after the last bombings of the city are mainly its rough brick walls of light gray concrete, which stand like Roman ruins without roofs, since they fell demolished.

Conceptual Architecture Proposal

Open the building to the exterior plaza that the building faces to open the building to the outside.

Respect the existing walls of the building as ruins and place the program inside these walls as a wooden forest from which this program hangs.

The project aims to fill this dark space with natural light, freedom, spatial and programmatic continuity.

Croquis interior 22.jpg

Open the building to the outside.

For this reason we have created a second level on the longitudinal corridor that leads to the main rooms, completely open to the plaza. In this way there is a kind of connection between what happens outside the building and inside, expressing spatial freedom.

Above the access volume is the layout of a cafeteria, as a meeting point between the different disciplines that converge in this building: students, professionals and artists.

Psd Interior Cafetería.jpg

Imagen: Coffee Shop and Corredor of the New Innotavive Center and Startup Promoltion for Chernihiv

Supporting structure over the current building. 

One of the architectural challenges was to think about how to inhabit and fill with a program the 3 large movie theaters of the current building, but without demolishing or structurally demanding the walls that were raised as ruins of the building.

To solve this, we developed an structural system of self-supporting laminated wood frames, from which the various rooms with the new program for the innovation center hang.

This allows us to obtain a structural system independent of the pre-existing walls, and with this freedom we can generate more independent habitable levels than what the current structure of the building dictates.

To show off this system and at the same time recognize the large size in width and height of the movie theaters, we have left a triple-height central space that allows a visual connection between the various rooms. This generates a feeling of air and freedom for the inhabitant inside, and also makes it easier for us to divide between the rooms without having to use dividing walls.

In this way we obtain spacious, light and airy interiors.

Psd Sala interior SI.jpg

Imagen: Interior of the Startups room of the New Innotavive Center and Startup Promoltion for Chernihiv

A dynamic program for the convergence of disciplines.

The programmatic request from the municipality of Chernihiv required us to present within this space a FabLab - Manufacturing Laboratory - for Architecture students, rooms for students and for professionals from Startups, and finally a space for arts and culture in remembrance to the cinema that used to be in this building.

Based on this, we have distributed the program within the 3 large rooms of the building: the smallest will be dedicated to students, offering study rooms, computer rooms and leaving the first level as a FabLab. The mediated room will be used for the Starups, hosting meeting rooms and work rooms. Finally, in the large room, the main Theater will be kept on its lowest floor and to open this theater perseption, the rooms are organized in stages, housing a theatrical and artistic program, suitable for classes or exhibitions.

The corridor of all floors will be destined to be a point of convergence between all these disciplines promoting interdisciplinary enrichment. To do this, it is proposed to use this space as a center for conversations and discussions, with blackboards and a cafeteria.

Both this corridor and the third floor proposed for administrative program are fully glazed spaces that will have a direct view of the building's plaza, but also to the interior of the building. 

Section BB jpg Color_edited.jpg
Section AA jpg Color_edited.jpg

The front Square

Finally, the project is responsible for remodeling the exterior plaza of the building. As a special requirement, the Chernihiv municipality asked us that this space could serve as a defense for the building in case of a new attack. To meet this requirement we have thought of a flexible space of long, entrenched pits that functions with a double purpose: to function as a trench in the event that it is necessary to defend the building, but also as a railing to place the chairs from where you can see the functions of the outside theater, to enable spaces for rest and conversation there and finally to drain the snow that accumulates during the winter.

This layout of trenches leaves space in its voids to place games for children and a water pool that refreshes citizens during the summer, encouraging life and activity to be generated in that space.

Square Section EE jpg Color.jpg
bottom of page