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This is how Ukrainians want to protect their monuments - Balbek studio project

19 of May '22
Technical data
Architects: Slava Balbek, Yulia Barsuk, Nata Kurylenko, Serhiy Rejenko
Graphic designers:
Dasha Levchuk, Alexandra Zawada
Year of creation: 2022
Location: Ukraine

For eighty-five days, Ukrainians have heroically defended their country against the Russian invasion. Putin's steamroller of war disregards nothing, leaving only scorched earth and destruction in its wake. Direct attacks are designed not only to terrorize the population, but also to destroy the foundations of the Ukrainian people - their unique culture. How to protect Ukrainian heritage? A modular way to protect monuments was created by the Balbek studio.

Ukraińcy osłaniają swoje zabytki

Ukrainians shield their monuments

© Julia Barsuk, ©

Re:Ukraine. Monuments is a project by the Kiev-based Balbek studio. The studio's architects developed the Re:Ukraine modular housing development system to minimize costs, speed up production and create dignified conditions for those fleeing the war(SEE HERE). The goal of the new initiative is to chalk out a modular system for the protection of monuments and memorials to protect monuments of Ukrainian culture during attacks and bombings.

As in Re:Ukraine, the designers began by analyzing historical solutions, in this case for the protection of monuments. They looked at systems used in Europe during World War II, among others.

Rozwiązanie inspirowane było doświadczeniem z czasów II wojny światowej

In their search for appropriate solutions, the designers referred to the experience of World War II

© JoaquimCampa

protection system

Re:Ukraine Monuments is a modular system that is based on slabs measuring two meters by one and a half meters. The modules can be arranged vertically and horizontally. It all depends on the needs of the monument.

The installation begins with the installation of scaffolding around the monument while maintaining the appropriate distance from the object. The panels are made of damage-resistant and heat-resistant Bakelite. For larger monuments, bags filled with sand are inserted between the facade and the protective mesh - a method known and used since World War II.

In addition to the workmanship itself, it is important to use the right color tone to fit the cover into the surroundings and urban landscape. The authors recommend primarily gray and olive colors. This is important not only for aesthetics, but also for proper blending in and protecting the monument in case of attack.
przykład wykorzystania modułu

example of the use of module

© Balbek

The designers also paid attention to placing relevant information about the monument - its creator, the subject it relates to, its history. They also suggest placing a QR code that will send us to the monument's page on Wikipedia. Graphics on the shield can also be an interesting element.

przykład modułowego rozwiązania dla pomnika Założycieli Kijowa w Kijowie

An example of a modular solution for the monument to the Founders of Kyiv in Kyiv

© Balbek

let's not forget digitalization

Balbek also shows how monuments should be photographed and scanned so that they can be preserved in digital format, which can help with identification if the monument is taken away along with household appliances or restored if it is destroyed. An example is the monument to the founders of Kiev, for which the studio created a 3D model. This model was later used to demonstrate in theory the principles of using the security system.

sposób digitalizowania pomnika zaproponowany przez Balbek

The method of digitizing the monument proposed by Balbek

© Balbek

the need to work at the grassroots

This is another modular project by Balbek studio, which can become an important part of the landscape. We believe that this senseless and groundless war will end as soon as possible, and Balbek studio, like many other amazing Ukrainian architects, will take care of rebuilding a free Ukraine.

We would also like to remind you about the Designers_ci for Ukraine campaign organized by NIAIU(SEE HERE!) and the verified list of collections with Ukraine(SEE HERE!).

elaborated Wiktor Bochenek

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