The unique-shaped building, known as the "Flying Saucer," emerged in Kyiv in 1971. The architect behind the project of the building is Florian Yuriev, a highly talented and multifaceted individual. He is not only an architect but also a composer, art historian, scientist, poet, and artist. Even today, the building that appears to be suspended in the air still looks quite original and unusual. The "Flying Saucer" is one of the few surviving examples of unique-purpose Soviet modernism. Many contemporary architects, upon visiting Kyiv, immediately make their way to see this building.
The unusual architecture of this building is due, in part, to the fact that the the Lybid River flows nearby. The soil in this area makes it impossible to construct pile foundations. Taking into account all the geodetic research, the architect decided to create a lightweight building.
At that time, it was considered a quite progressive project, featuring innovative elements such as aluminum windows, double-glazed panels, a suspended facade, and an open interior layout. In the early 1960s, architect Florian Yuriev worked on the concept of "synthesis of arts," aiming to alter sound perception through the proper use of light. The foundation of the building incorporates a reinforced concrete lens with a metal bane, creating excellent acoustics in the spherical hall, enabling the entire range of frequencies from human voices and musical instruments to be heard.
Yuriev thought through and designed everything: from the concealed diaphragms for high and low frequencies on the backside of the hall to the sound-absorbing fabric on the chairs and the structural chandelier for sound wave dispersion. According to the author's vision, it was intended to be a unique Color-Music Theatre. Wide-format projections of films and light-musical compositions were to be displayed on the screen. Meanwhile, waves of coloured light would be streaming throughout the room to deepen the audience's experience.
Unfortunately, these creative ideas were not implemented.The country's leadership decided to allocate the space for the Institute of Scientific and Technical and Economic Information (which the building is still currently occupied by) and the archives of the KGB and the Communist Party of Ukraine. USSR State Committee for Construction "For Innovation in Architecture"
For his creation, the architect received State Construction Committee of the USSR award for "Innovation in Architecture" and 16,000 rubles as a prize, which he shared among everyone who contributed to the project, including plumbers. After the scandal caused by this generous gesture, Yuriev decided to leave "Kyivproekt" and never returned to architectural practice.
As of now, the building is in a terrible condition. Furthermore, a commercial center has been constructed very close to it. The developer has repeatedly attempted to integrate the architectural gem of Kyiv into their structure, but thanks to concerned activists, the "Flying Saucer" has been preserved.
In 2020, the expert council of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy added the "Flying Saucer" on Lybidska Square to the registry of architectural and monumental art landmarks. Currently, the building is enclosed by a fence with the word "Restoration" written on it. We truly hope that in the future, we will be able to enjoy the perfect sound of music in this unique Color-Music Theatre, as there is nothing else like it in Ukraine.
The Flying Saucer building can be found at the following address:180 Antonovycha St., Kyiv (near the Lybidska metro station).
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