Verkhovna Rada building
||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Ukrainian Wikipedia. (December 2010)|
|Building of Verkhovna Rada|
|Будинок Верховної Ради|
|Architectural style||Ukrainian Classic|
|Address||Hrushevsky Street 5|
|Town or city||Kyiv|
|Current tenants||Verkhovna Rada|
|Destroyed||World War II|
|Owner||State Bureau of Affairs|
|Diameter||16 m (plafond)|
|Design and construction|
|Awards and prizes||Local Landmark of Architecture|
It is the place where the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna Rada) meets for all regular and ceremonial sessions. The building was erected between 1936–38 to a design by Volodymyr Zabolotny (Vladimir Zabolotny) in the neo-classical Ukrainian architectural style of the Stalin era. Zabolotny was awarded the State Prize of Soviet Union for that project in 1940 and appointed the chief architect of the city.
At the beginning of 1934, after the capital was transferred from Kharkiv to Kiev, many new construction projects began for the reconstruction of the new capital. Many prominent administrative buildings to house the government institutions of the Soviet Republic were planned to be erected in downtown Kiev, including the building of the government and the building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The very heart of the city was chosen for that purpose – the Pechersk Raion which lies on the right bank of Dnieper river.
In February 1936, a concurs for the best building design of the Verkhovna Rada was announced, to which were invited numerous prominent specialists, including Volodymyr Zabolotny, Valerian Rykov, and Yakiv Steinberg. The jury selected the design of Zabolotny. The construction was initiated in 1936 and lasted to 1939 with the final inspection taking place in the beginning of the summer of 1939, which passed the building with the grade of excellent. The first session of the Verkhovna Rada took place at vulytsia Hrushevskoho 5 on 25 July 1939.
The building is designed in the strict rectangular-symmetrical form and is three stories high. It is crowned with a dome, made of metal and glass, providing the building with natural lighting. The hundred-tonne glass dome over the main session hall is the building's most memorable feature. The red-and-blue Flag of Soviet Ukraine was flown on top of the dome for over 50 years, until it was replaced by the yellow-and-blue national Flag of Ukraine, following Ukraine's attainment of independence in 1991.
The dome's multicolored illumination at night provides a memorable view, one of Kiev's tourist attractions. The diameter of the plafond is 16 meters. In the center is located a crystal chandelier that, by its form, resembles a sunflower, a motif frequently featured in the Ukrainian folk arts. Based on those motifs, the illuminating plafond of the hall was installed with colored glass. The interior of the building is generously decorated with intricate wood panels, multicolored marble, bronze artwork, and a statuary. The flat rooftop of the modern structure adds harmony to its composition. The front of the building was decorated with ornaments and statues featuring Soviet symbolism, with the Coat of Arms of the Ukrainian SSR in the center. Following Ukrainian independence, some of the decorations were altered and some replaced, to reflect the national symbolism of independent Ukraine. Currently, the stylized trident, the centerpiece of the modern Coat of Arms of Ukraine, is featured above the front entrance to the building.
Having been destroyed in the Second World War, the building was reconstructed in its original style in 1945-1947, with the reconstruction design provided by Zabolotny, once again. The glass dome was rebuilt one meter higher than the original one. Although it is adjacent to Rastrelli's Baroque Mariyinsky Palace (1752), the architect of the more monumental and imposing Rada building managed to avoid disharmony from the juxtaposition of such contrasting architectural styles. To the main building was added an adjacent three-story high building for servicemen that is designed in a closed half-circle shape with an inner court.
During the restoration works conducted in 1985 under the leadership of N.Chmutova, four sculptural groups (sculptor Valentyn Znoba) were installed in front of the risalits of the central entrance as intended by Zabolotny's design. The sculptures represent various segments of the Ukrainian population: workers, peasants, scientists, and intelligentsia.
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The building's exterior is addressed in light colors through the use of a light plaster and light-grey granite. These tones contrast with the dark shade of a socle, made out of polished labradorite, and has a significant jut against a plane wall. All rooms of the three-story building were designed in a single compact scope. The facades are symmetrical and have one order that received more extensive interpretation for the colonnade of the main facade (quarter columns), as well as the main planes of side facades (three-quarter columns).
The building is located on the eastern side of Hrushevsky Street, across from the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine building, and is surrounded by the Mariyinsky Palace, Mariyinsky Park, and a spacious pedestrian park square. From the square, the building and the palace are seen next to each other, along with a spectacular view from the Kiev heights to the left-bank neighborhoods across the Dnieper River. The square is one of the favorite spots of Kievans and tourists.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Verkhovna Rada.|
- Chmutova was one of several assistants of Zabolotny when his building design won the concurs in 1936.
- "Photo Gallery of most famous places in Kiev: Building of parliament". Retrieved March 17, 2006.
- Mefford, Svitlana. "The Building of Verkhovna Rada. History of the sitting place of Ukrainian Parliament" (– Scholar search). The Ukrainian Observer (184).[dead link]
- (Ukrainian) "Verkhovna Rada Library: Verkhovna Rada building, Tour Overview". Archived from the original on March 19, 2007. Retrieved March 21, 2006.
- (Ukrainian) "Ремонт примiщення Верховної Ради". інформаційно-аналітичний тижневик "ПРОЯВ ТИЖНЯ". Retrieved March 17, 2006.