Reconstruction of Koliivshchyny Square
Koliivshchyny Square is the smallest square in the center of Lviv with its own unique character and atmosphere. Historically it was was a place of exchange in the old Jewish quarter, today it is one of the most visited locations in the city center. The most important tasks during the redesign were to preserve the chamber scale of the square and its unique atmosphere, to identify multiple layers of history and to visualize them.
Koliivshchyny Square is located in the ancient Jewish quarter of the Old Town in Lviv, Ukraine. It is characterized by dense urban fabric with narrow streets. The square was formed quite late, after the dismantling of one of the ancient stone houses and on the site of an earlier wasteland. The place is characterized by a very small size, about 600 m2 corresponding to the size of the two plots. Facades of neighboring houses are turned to the square, rebuilt later in different styles, which diversify the overall look of the place. The character of the square is closed and very intimate; this cozy atmosphere is very valuable in the crowded urban environment of the historic city center.
In Koliivshchyny Square were carried out archaeological excavations and on their basis it was possible to reconstruct the well of the 19th century. It was also possible to discover the remains of buildings that no longer exist and the vestiges of the defensive wall of the old city. All these finds were marked with various patterns of the paving on the square. Thus memory is marked in the pavement, a memory that can be felt by touch.
The particular attention to the paving of the square in the reconstruction process is explained by being the main methodology in showing the stratified history of this place and its existence despite the passage of time. The following elements from different eras of the city’s life are traced here: the defensive wall (it was also the city’s boundary), the walls of individual buildings and also, the names and professions of the residents of the quarter, carved on the restored well (based on archival records).
Special attention is focused on the spirit of the place and the memory of it, as well as the importance of the presence of a history stratified over time.
After the reconstruction, the square became more accessible, uniformed to a single level, and while maintaining the old layout, in the new project it is more inviting for visitors.
Koliyevshchyny Square, the old square of Lviv, which changed a lot during the XX th century, and thanks to its renovation, has acquired a more authentic image, as a historic square in the old town. Now it is able to tell more about its history and the vicissitude of the inhabitants who once lived here, the houses and walls that once existed. The square offers a diverse and vibrant public space, filled with history and modern life at the same time.
Project Location: Koliivshchyny Square, Lviv, Ukraine
Typology: Public square, public space
Design year: 2018-2020
Manufacturers of urban equipment: LOZA & Dobro design studio
General contractor: Welt Capital LLC
Client: Department of Historic Environment Protection implemented within the framework of the “Shared Responsibility for Shared Heritage” (ReHERIT)
Awards: Prize of National Architects Union of Ukraine 2021 in the nomination “Landscape Architecture, Urban Environment Design / category: Realized Object”. Included in the selected works in the Edition 2022 of The European Prize for Urban Public Space, of the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB).
Photo credits: © Oleksandr Hutsuliak
Urbanideas is an architectural studio operating in Lviv, Ukraine since 2011. It is headed by two architects, Olha Kryvoruchko and Valentyn Sharovatov, both graduated from the Lviv Polytechnic National University. The studio works on architectural, urban planning, landscape and research projects. Both co-founders combine their professional activities with teaching and cultural activities in the field of urban interventions. The design approach is based on a special attention to details and their importance in everyday human life, as well as a sensual attitude to the urban space and its multi-layered and multicultural nature.