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New Yahidne House of Culture in Chernihiv

One of the cities that has suffered the harsh passage of the Russian army is Yahidne, a town located approximately 140 km north of Kiev and whose population suffered a holocaust for 25 days between March and April 2023. More than a hundred people were crammed into the basement of a 65m2 school.

After this tragedy, we were entrusted with the reconstruction of one of the most iconic buildings in this town: the Yahidne House of Culture. This project acquires an emotional charge for the collective memory of the people, from the Soviet era to the current war.

Project Type: Public Infrastructure /Remodeling

Imagen: New Yahidne House of Culture and Summer Theatre

The Current Building

The administrative building is located in the central part of the village of Yahidne which was almost destroyed completely. Windows and facades were damaged by rocket fire and fire from Russian troops, as well as the roof, ceilings and interiors of the building of the Yagidne and also the secondary building, was complete destroyed.

Building made from the Soviet Union Era, very characteristic and of great emotional charge in the collective memory of the village area, embodying all the concepts and characteristics spatial and stylistic aspects of Stalinist construction.

This volume is built on a single level and is structured with a brutal system of thick walls that compartmentalize its spaces and programs, constituting a segmented and discontinuous space, which, due to its over-structuring, prevents the entry of natural light and the conception of interior space program and its different areas, as a continuous and compact unitary space, complicating the development of its experience and losing the possibility to gain more space to add new programs and spaces.

Its main façades attempts to build a forced neoclassical style, full of cladding and eclectic decorative details, without achieving a spatial and urban dialogue with the scale and significance of the rural village of Yagidne.

Inside, it is an overstructured, labyrinthine, twisted space in terms of natural light, hyper compartmentalized, designed with a logic that prevents the free meeting and interaction of people inside; a true space of control and social supervision, faithful representative of the Soviet Union Era.

Conceptual Architecture Proposal

Taking all of the above into account, the project develops an architectural reformulation to transform this Soviet space into a new space, full of natural light, freedom and spatial and programmatic continuity, which encourages the free meeting of the people who will inhabit it.

Like the volume it is of a single level, it provides the possibility of stripping it of all that forced neoclassical over-structuring, to free up its interior space, to generate great spatial and visual continuity.

Imagen: New Yahidne House of Culture 

Two programs, two separate spaces

The strategy seeks to programmatically separate the new large luminous and transparent space for the administrative offices from the great hall of the theater, and building a new large lateral access to this theater, allowing non-disruptive access for theater activities, and that this space can be used completely independently of the administrative office area.

For the construction of this new access, the presence of a secondary wall that once built the access to the technical room of the theater has been used.

In addition, our proposal recovers the old shapes of the gabled roof of the destroyed building, but reformulates them by intersecting them through the new glass box that allows access of a large amount of natural light to the interior space of the new administrative offices.

This glass box advances and reconstructs the central part of the main façade of the building, presenting in a new way, through its transparencies, the old forms of this façade, and builds a small transition and thermal protection hall.

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Same building, different meaning

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Imagen: Administrative sector new Yagidne House of Culture

The way to highlight a building with an old character is to contrast it with other totally different elements. In this sense, for both processes, the conservation of the facades and the use of the main structure are proposed to preserve the collective memory that the building houses.

In exchange, the internal program of the New House of Culture is worked with a large glass box of natural light on a new roof, and also inside its central space the new administrative office space is developed through separations. of transparent glass between each charge, to give a sense of continuity and freedom.

In addition, laminated wood is used as a structural material, which provides quality, sustainability and warmth to the project, in the construction of the structure of its new central space and also as asupport of the new natural light glass box in the roof.

This is how the building can rescue the collective memories of the people, however, give them a different meaning, transformed and with an eye on the experiences that are to come.


Each one of us carries a story, good or bad, and that story has been developed through built spaces, which is why they are part of our history and from there they allow us to project ourselves into the future, but without ignoring the history we have lived, overcome and conquered.

This is what our architectural proposal is about.

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Summer Theatre

Finally, our proposal develops a new space for a Summer Stage open to the open air, to promote cultural activities, presentations, shows and concerts in the open air.

The strategy for the development of this Summer Scenario is to bury it slightly in the ground through exposed concrete retaining walls, generating the development of a large staircase-gallery with large steps that allow the gathering of a large number of people, in groups, couples or families, embracing various positions of the human body to rest, rest, sit down and enjoy the show, using cross-laminated timber planks with gravel tracks.

This semi-buried space contains a stage that is protected by a cross-laminated Timber vine trellis structure, which blends and blends with the existing trees of the park and that surround the stage.

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