Hromada development and democracy: why are modern administrative buildings needed?

More than 700 administrative service centres have been established in Ukraine, but the issue of their arrangement remains relevant.

The forum on “Democratisation of Administrative Buildings in Ukraine: Architectural View”, organised by the U-LEAD with Europe Programme (support to improved administrative service delivery) in conjunction with the CANactions educational platform, was held in Kyiv on 30 January. “Khmarochos” attended the event and talked with two Swedish architects Linda Kummel and Morten Claesson on what modern administrative buildings might be like and how they affect the society.


Linda Kummel, architect, expert on urban spaces, ArkDes strategist, Swedish National Centre for Architecture and Design

 

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When designing an administrative building, four aspects are important. Firstly, it must be human-centric. It is worth taking into account the needs of both visitors and employees. There is a need to think carefully about the location of the building, whether it is convenient to get to it by car or public transport, whether the city residents will walk past the building on their way to work, or whether they will have to go specially to a certain area?

The third aspect is functionality. Many Swedish administrative centres combine several functions. It may be a library, a theatrical stage, a venue for meetings.

In addition, it is important to create a place where people could meet. When visitors come to your building for totally different reasons, but have the opportunity to stay in touch and talk – this allows you to connect the city dwellers living nearby. This is the fourth aspect that should be considered.

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Cultural Centre in Alingsas, Sweden. Photo by https://www.inputinterior.com

 

It is not necessary to build something new for this purpose. The cultural centre in Alingsas, Sweden, was used primarily as a library. Today, in addition to the library, there is a gallery, municipal offices and multifunctional premises. The centre has been modernised only due to the rearrangement of functional zones, easy navigation and design: different zones are highlighted in different colors. 

Morten Claesson, architect and designer, co-founder of the architectural bureau Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects (Stockholm, Sweden)

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If the architecture is used correctly, it can change perceptions of power institutions. Traditionally, administrative buildings were designed to demonstrate the power of the state. Especially in non-democratic regimes, they became massive, monumental and closed. They do not invite, but show strength.

 

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Proposal of the Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects bureau

In today’s democratic countries such buildings should be transparent and open, society must see that institutions work for them, and that there is no corruption behind closed walls.

Of course, this does not mean that all the walls of this building should be made of glass. But architecture has the power to express a certain idea by the way it is constructed.

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Proposal of the Claesson Koivisto Rune Architects bureau

 

Our offer for the Ukrainian ASC was not designed for a specific place, the building can work equally well in different cities. The symmetrical design gives an idea of ​​an official institution. Such a centre must have some weight and credibility, though, at the same time, not be too monumental. A similar effect is achieved through the use of the same material for the walls and the roof. At the same time, the interior of this ASC is open and democratic; there are no secret places for corruption.

The full version is available in Ukrainian – please click HERE

Tags:

ASC

Source:

Хмарочос

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