Zytni Rynek. An example of late modernism in Kyiv

Built in 1980, Kyiv’s Rye Market was a modern marketplace and one of only four buildings with a concave roof in the city. Designed in the spirit of late modernism, the building is slowly dying. Not renovated for years, it is only a shy reminder of its former glory.

A market in this part of Kyiv already existed in the time of Kievan Rus’. In the 15th century, Zytni Market was the most important place for trade in the city. It was well located; its proximity to the river made it easy to transport goods. For many years, trading took place outdoors. At the beginning of the 20th century, stalls began to be built, but these proved to be a makeshift solution.

The breakthrough came in the 1980s, when a modern hall was built in the style of late modernism. The building was designed by architects O. Monina, W. Sztolko and designer B. Bednarski. Construction of the building began in 1974 and lasted six years. The original plan was to build an eight-storey hotel next to it, which together with the market building was to form a modern part of the district. However, the idea of demolishing the nearby buildings was abandoned. Only the hall was built.

The hall is 102 m long and 54 m wide. Inside, the space has three levels. Special frames on the long sides hold the canopy, which slopes down towards the centre. These structural elements have been deliberately exposed; they are an integral part of the inner space.

The building has a dynamic form and is constructed of concrete and glass. The façade is decorated with triangular elements that add variety to the austere appearance. In addition, as part of the 1500th anniversary of Kiev celebrated in 1982, the façade of the building was decorated with symbolic metal panels with motifs made by Anatoly Domnych. The embossed decorations symbolise the period of the city’s development and the route “From the Varangians to the Greeks”, which ran through Kiev via the Dnieper River.

The glory years of the market hall are long gone. The future of the building is currently under discussion. However, there is a lack of a concrete plan to give it a second life.

photos: Anton Honcharenko(instagram.com/honcharenko_anton_27)

Also read: Social realism | Ukraine | Kiev | Modernism | Concrete | Glass | whiteMAD on Instagram

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