12.00 – 13.00 GMT, Zoom Webinar


Mass housing after mass housing: Saltivka as the biggest residential area in Ukraine under fierce Russian shelling

This masterclass is jointly offered by the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies and DOcumentation and COnservation of the MOdern MOvement – International Scientific Committee on Urbanism and Landscape.


From the first days of the full-scale war started in February 2022 Saltivka being the north-eastern border of the city of Kharkiv has been massively destroyed by Russian army shelling and missile strikes. This biggest residential area in Ukraine was designed according to the master plan of Kharkiv of 1964. It was actively developed in the 1970s and 1980s with prefabricated mass housing construction prevailing in Soviet Ukraine and many other countries. Saltivka continued to be built up in the 21st century until the war began. Almost a third of Kharkiv’s population has lived there, which is about half a million inhabitants. From one side, how did it happen that one district became so huge that not every city can compare with it in size? From the other side, despite this, Saltivka has not been a monolithic “ghetto” but rather a fragmented diverse neighbourhood full of mass social housing. What will happen to Saltivka next? Is it possible, after decades of criticism of mass housing and standardised architecture, any other solution to the housing crisis that Ukrainian cities will inevitably face after the war? And more embarrassing – what to do if your heritage is not mediaeval castles, but dozens of microdistricts of panel prefabricated houses, the destruction of which is perceived as a blow to your identity and memory?


Ievgeniia Gubkina is an architect, architectural historian, curator of architectural and art projects, and educational events. She is a co-founder of the NGO Urban Forms Center and women’s avant-garde movement Modernistki. Gubkina’s work specialises in architecture and urban planning of the 20th century in Ukraine, and a multidisciplinary approach to heritage studies. Her first book “Slavutych: Architectural Guide” was published in 2015 by DOM Publishers in Germany and was dedicated to the architecture of the last Soviet city of Slavutych, built after the Chornobyl disaster for workers of the Chornobyl NPP. In 2019, after many years of research, her second book “Soviet Modernism. Brutalism. Post-Modernism. Buildings and Structures in Ukraine 1955–1991” was published in English by Osnovy Publishing and DOM Publishers and included photographs from all over Ukraine of the most stunning objects of Soviet-Ukrainian architecture of the second half of the 20th century. In 2020–2021 she curated the “Encyclopedia of Ukrainian Architecture”, a multimedia online project that worked with architecture, history, criticism, cinema and visual arts.


“Without a hint of art” photo research project by Ukrainian documentary photographer Pavlo Dorogoy based on Borys Shchetinin’s photo archive.