Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Friday 18th February – (Kiev)
The project we’ve been asked to have a look at is a really interesting one, which has much the same sensitivities that a central London planning application may face. In the heart of a cultural district, there are opportunities to create an intervention between old and new that hopefully, if we do our job correctly, will engage the local community, provide a dynamic civic space and also create much needed grade A office space in the centre of town.
It’s true what they say about Kiev, it’s a fun city with lots of natural beauty… The architecture is typical Russian fare, but there is an element of style and grandeur that is more compacted than in Moscow and the hills make it much more photogenic.
Friday night passed uneventfully as it is a difficult gig to get anywhere where no English is spoken and all the signage is in Cyrillic.
Had a brilliant Pulp Fiction moment however, when all attempts at McDonalds (this was the best attempt at an eatery that wasn’t based on low quality meat… sorry not fair as Ukranian food on the whole is excellent, but you try ordering from a Russian menu when your Russian doesn’t extend further than“OK” “Perfect” “Please” “Thank You” and “One for the Road…”). Anyway, attempts to order a “quarter with cheese” went through four members of helpful staff until jubilantly, the manager appeared and said in a broken Russian-American accent “Ah, you mean a Royale with cheese”... John Travolta is popular everywhere… genius.