History of the neighborhood
Vykhovskoho, Lviv, Ukraine. Built in the 1960s.
Vykhovskoho neighborhood has been built after the WW2 to house a huge mass of people that lost their homes, it's primarily consists of standardized panel houses, so called "Khrushchevkas". Today most buildings are in need of rennovation and don't meet modern standards, it's one of the main reasons why Vykhovskoho is in a state of disrepair. The neighborhood has a huge risk of becoming a money-making platform for developers, who have no consideration neither for people who live here, nor for Lviv's future. We sincerely hope that this proposal will lead to rebirth of the neighborhood and will make it a worthy part of Lviv's city fabric.
One of the goals of the project was creation of a great urban space, while saving as much of existing buildings as possible, to achieve this "Khrushchevkas" were renovated and new buildings are used to fill in the void to complete city blocks. One of the defining features of soviet neighborhoods of this era was a huge amount of trees which is why this typology is called "The Garden City". New street profiles and buildings were designed to extract maximum benefit from the shade, which those trees provide. The neglected railroad was turned into a public space by defining it with a promenade, also above an additional bridge was constructed to improve the connection between Vykhovskoho and an adjacent neighborhood. Land that was zoned for new construction has been divided into small plots to promote diversity and to create a "layering" of different architectural styles in the future.
Main distinguishing feature of this new step in the development of Vykhovskoho is the fact that all new buildings will be built by future residents of the neighborhood. This lets people to directly influence the place they live in and it democratizes the construction process. In Germany this practice is called "Baugruppe". Rejection of profit oriented development makes cities more diverse and sustainable, it almost completely eliminates deliberate violation of regulations for sake of making more money (it is an enormous problem in Ukraine). This kind of construction leads to a closer-knit communities, because people feel a direct connection to the environment they have built.
City blocks were formed to define the border between the public (streets and squares) and semi-private space (courtyards). This has led to a more optimized transit and simpler navigation.
Some sections of "Khrushchevkas" were demolished to free up the space for buildings at the corners, this is possible because of the panel construction of soviet houses. But the main chunk of the demolition took place in an area with large concentration of small houses and garages, this is the place where the first phase of Vykhovskoho's rennovation takes place. The projects heart, a self sufficient part of the neighborhood that is supposed to show residents benefits of the proposal without disrupting the existing structure of Vykhovskoho . The second phase is more broad in its scope, but its main goal is to define the boulevard that crosses the whole neighborhood. And the third phase is the last step to the transformation of Vykhovskoho .
Besides new bicycle infrastructure that saturated the neighborhood we added a new trolleybus route and proposed two new train stations, those measures allow residents of Vykhovskoho to stop relying on their cars, which will lead to an improvement in air quality and significantly reduce traffic, not only for the neighborhood, but also for the whole city. Another reason to leave cars behind is the fact that the Vykhovskoho becomes self-sufficient thanks to a new array of shops and services located in the ground floors of most buildings. This puts all necessities at a walking distance removing the need to drive to the shopping malls or Lviv's downtown.
Today almost the whole neighborhood consists of public space under municipal control, which makes it really difficult for city to maintain the area and it just ended up being ignored. The lack of defined border between public and semi-private led to the alienation of people, as they cannot associate themselves with the public space. Creation of closed city blocks fixes both of those problems and will lead to an improvement in quality in both public and semi-private areas.
Possible site typology variations
Subdivision of land into smaller plots leads to the development of a diverse set of typologies, both new and long forgotten ones. This also lets courtyards span multiple sites, and it turn, literally connecting communities.
City block detail
Larger city blocks were divided into smaller courtyards, this is done to bring this space closer to human size. Smaller groups of people are much more likely to self organize and form close ties between themselves, leading to a better, friendlier community.
Market hall is one of the pivotal buildings in the neighborhood, a place for residents to buy fresh, local produce, and, for some people, an opportunity to sell something that they have grown in their summer house. Market hall is complemented by two squares and an alley which makes it an attractive public space and lets people from the whole neighborhood to cross paths and meet each other.
All streets were completely reimagined, to create a comfortable and inclusive environment, and to make them more bike and pedestrian oriented. Furnishing zone was provided so that business located in the first floor can place their summer terraces without obstructing pedestrians paths.
"Khrushchevka" before renovation
By today's standards "Khrushchevkas" leave much to be desired: cramped apartments, no elevator, no barrier-free entrance to the house, or any resemblance of thermal insulation.
"Khrushchevka" after renovation
To achieve barier-free access to the newly installed elevator entrance hall has been lowered to the ground level, to maximize useful space in the basement, stairs are used to access the public spaces on the first floor. To increase the size of the apartments, four flats per floor were changed to three flats per floor, this led to a significant increase in living conditions.