Galleries: 'Hata' wins Estonian-Ukrainian family group home design project

Chosen from among 17 entries in the largest Estonian-Ukrainian architectural collaboration to date, the winning designs were announced Monday in an architectural competition for a standard design for family-type group homes to be built in Ukraine.

First place was awarded to "Hata" by DAGOpen OÜ, the Ministry of Culture said in a press release.

"I am very glad that the winning design has been inspired by the architecture of Ukraine, and is based on best European practices," Minister of Culture Heidy Purga (Reform) said.

"It is greatly symbolic that such spaces designed by Estonian architects take the Ukrainian cultural context into account and add value to the environment," she highlighted. "These architects have demonstrated that informed spatial decisions can be made even when attending to crisis projects, and that this doesn't have to incur significant additional costs."

Second place in the competition went to the design "Ruut" by Molumba, and third place to "Krestiki Noliki" by KUU Architects. An honorable mention also went to "Segasumm," the entry submitted by a collaborative team from KOKO Architects and Drozdov & Partners.

"Currently there are nearly 25,000 children living as orphans in Ukraine, many of whom have been left without parents due to the war," said Andrea Kivi, acting executive director of the Estonian Center for International Development (ESTDEV). "Providing a safe and nurturing environment for these children, in this time of war, is a huge challenge for Ukraine, and Estonia is ready to help."

According to Kivi, this competition provided a great opportunity to create, in cooperation with Estonian and Ukrainian architects, a new family-type small group home suitable for construction throughout Ukraine.

"This way we're able to support both Ukraine's reconstruction efforts and its aspirations to join the EU," he added.

Olena Oliynyk, vice president of the National Union of Architects of Ukraine, served as a member of the competition jury.

"It was entirely captivating to study and compare the designs that were submitted, each of which was highly professional and unique," Oliynyk said, commenting on the process. "I am certain that any of the presented projects could be implemented in Ukraine. However, as in every competition, there are works that stand out for their greater artistic expression, professionalism and use of the principles of sustainable development. These were the projects determined to be the most outstanding."

"There were several designs that explored the ways that a spatial environment can provide children with a sense of security, help them cope with trauma and create a supportive setting for growth," said jury member Johanna Jõekalda.

"Spaces have a big impact, and the architecture of a building determines whether it feels like an institution or a home," she continued. "With [our] honorable mention, we chose to highlight the design 'Segasumm' because of the ways in which it used architecture to address the theme of coping with war trauma and restoring childhood to children."

Child-oriented details in the winning designs

Created by Oleksii Volodymyrovych Pakhomov, Jaan Kuusemets, Anna Solts and Oksana Buziak, DAGOpen OÜ's "Hata," the winner of the design competition, creates a powerful sense of space and provides a bright and safe feeling of home.

As suggested by the name, the building resembles a traditional Ukrainian dwelling ("хата") in form and layout, yet is crafted in a modern way. The building can be constructed as a prefabricated house, but doesn't have the overall appearance of one. The design covers a broad range of principles from the Davos Baukultur Quality System, ensuring that children can grow up in a diverse and high-quality spatial environment.

Earning second place, Molumba's "Ruut" was created by Karli Luik, Johan Tali, Oksana Šapovska, Maryna Kharlampova and Harri Kaplan.

The layout's design avoids the use of corridor-based compartmentalization. Instead, the common area, which runs the length of the house, creates a spatially diverse living area, allowing children of different ages and interests to spend their personal time unimpeded. The house can be prefabricated and fits well into the context of a crisis.

Created by Joel Kopli and Anastasiya Klimentyeva, KUU Architects' "Krestiki Noliki" offers a diverse interior with minimal yet well-chosen components, and offers children of different ages the opportunity for quiet privacy, as exemplified by the library area featured in the design. The building has a clear and compact layout and fits well into the crisis context.

Part of ongoing reconstruction efforts

The architectural competition for a standard project for modern, family-type small group homes to be built in Ukraine was organized by ESTDEV, the Union of Estonian Architects (EAL) and the Ministry of Culture.

This competition is part of broader cooperation between the ministry and ESTDEV aimed at ensuring that the principles of high-quality spatial culture outlined in the Davos Baukultur Quality System are followed throughout the reconstruction of Ukraine.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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