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Lviv sets its sights on temporary homes in sustainable architecture

Kacper Kępiński
17 of March '23

The first housing development designed and built in Ukraine after the Russian invasion has been put into operation in Lviv. The temporary homes are an example of quality architecture that restores dignity and gives hope for a better tomorrow for their residents. It is also a preview of what Ukraine's reconstruction may look like.

Commissioned by the city government, local studio Sulyk Architects designed a temporary housing complex in Lviv for people who lost their previous homes or were forced to flee as a result of the war effort. The development is located in a quiet neighborhood on Nad Dzherelom Street, adjacent to a recently revitalized park. The two houses, which are mirror images of each other, are connected by the common space of an open courtyard. Located slightly below, the courtyard flows seamlessly into a park space with a children's playground, sports field, walking paths and a lake.


photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

temporality and permanence

The premise of the project was to preserve the possibility of changing the function of the buildings in the future. Once there is no longer a need to accommodate internal refugees, the buildings are to be used for other purposes. Among the functions mentioned that could be used in the future are a day care center for children, a shelter or a place for teaching.


photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

Although the Lviv housing development remains the only one of its kind in the country, it demonstrates the possibilities of shaping a valuable living space and offers hope for a national reconstruction that can use attractive and functional architectural solutions.

Rzut piętra

photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

This project is not about distinctive looks and austere construction conditions, but rather about architectural solutions that redefine the look of typical temporary housing. Moving away from standard container solutions, we show how temporary homes can become part of urban architecture.

Taras Sulyk, founder of Sulyk Architects

permeating spaces

Plac zewnętrzny

photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

The two-story buildings have a total area of 1,300 square meters. Each houses 13 rooms, which can comfortably accommodate between 26 and 52 people. Each building has a shared kitchen and dining room designed as a central common space, two stories high. Each floor has blocks of bathrooms and showers. The kitchen area is also complemented by a spacious living room and a group activity and remote work area, located in an overhanging, glass-enclosed section of the second floor. Thanks to large glass loggias, the buildings' interior space connects to the surrounding garden.

Lviv is definitely focusing on improving the quality of architecture, and some really interesting projects are being built there. One of them is the implementation of houses for pregnant women, initiated by the city. Designed by Sulyk Architects, the estate is an example of very qualitative architecture, which is lacking in modern Ukraine.

Petro Vladimirov, curator of the exhibition Reconstruction Bureau of Ukraine

building in wartime

Budowa osiedla

photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

The peculiarities of designing and constructing buildings during the ongoing war, required the use of simple structures, readily available materials, and ensuring the possibility of quick implementation on a severely limited budget. The construction of the buildings was based on wooden frames and walls, insulated with rock wool. The facade was mostly finished with light gray corrugated sheet metal, and the interior walls were finished with plywood to visually insulate the living spaces.

psychological aspect


photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

Loggias have been located at the ends of the buildings, which face the neighboring park. The front is finished with rhythmic wooden columns, covered with translucent polycarbonate. The psychological aspect of the temporary shelter for war refugees is extremely important. The choice of opaque material for the fronts gives a sense of safety and security inside the loggia, as opposed to open translucent surfaces. Also, the very silhouette of the buildings was meant to evoke associations with traditional houses.

Budowa osiedla

Photo courtesy of Sulyk Architects

Kacper Kępiński

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