Ukrainian interior design is just as prominent in the international scene as Ukrainian fashion. It’s hip, sophisticated, yet daring; it breaks up with minimalist trends, but doesn’t go overboard. With a perfect sense of proportion, it straddles the line between exciting details and overall harmony. Though we can’t be sure of their current state, we made a bucket list of places we’d definitely revisit in Ukraine given the chance.
In the second part of our series, we present a restaurant in Kyiv, an art center in Lviv and a minimalist tattoo parlor.
Japanese restaurant in Kyiv | YODEZEEN
Virgin Izakaya Bar is located in an 18th-century brick building with Art Nouveau features, which was formerly Kyiv’s armory. YODEZEEN’s design concept was to preserve the industrial building and original Art Nouveau details while creating a welcoming design with an izakaya feel. The name ‘izakaya’ refers to an informal Japanese bar where drinks and small plates of food are served. The bare brick walls and concrete surfaces are offset by natural, warm-toned materials and an extravagant metal mesh system. This solution serves as a partition and a decorative element, as well, most prominently in the washrooms.
Lviv Municipal Art Center | Replus Bureau
The Lviv Municipal Art Center is located in a 19th-century neo-Gothic building, which originally hosted a printing house and its offices. As of 1991, it was deserted for over 20 years, until Replus Bureau took it over to create a contemporary art center. Most inner walls were removed and a wide-open space was created as a gallery, which occupies 30 percent of the space. In addition, lecture rooms and workstations were created, as well as a multimedia library with turntables, vinyls and rare books. During the planning process, what could be restored and renovated was done: original paintings on the ceiling and corridor walls were revealed from under layers of plaster, and old Austrian tiles and brass window handles found a new home. All this was offset by modern furniture and lighting, and the end result was particularly pleasing to the locals.
6:19 Tattoo parlor | balbek bureau
The 6:19 Tattoo parlor, which hosts 8 tattoo artists, evokes the white cube effect of contemporary art galleries. The extravagant, yet clean interior is the embodiment of founder Ulyana Nesheva’s style and artistic vision, designed by balbek bureau. A large, round hole has been cut in the wall behind the reception desk, which acts as a dimension gate into the main studio space, where the tattooing takes place. Almost every element of the interior is a work of art: for instance, the Podil-shaped mobile split mirror was created by two Ukrainian sculptors, and the most monumental piece of furniture is the uniquely shaped, 800-kilogram graphite concrete table. The wave-like counter flows through the space, serving as both a reception and a drawing surface for the artists.