Islands and their borders: The Kiev Islands

Martin Jančok, Vít Halada, Benjamín Brádňanský, Michal Marcinov


The Kiev Islands are forced into a state of schizophrenia. Two ideologies claim their rights to inhabit the islands. Conservation and Exploitation trigger and enhance contradictory processes that establish zones which have to deal with strong pressures from both sides. Leisure and commercial activities spontaneously occupy spots with connection infrastructure and blur on a large scale with the zones of legislative reservation of value natural environments. The Eden of untouched nature meets the paradise of uncontrolled development speculations. Pursuing efficiency and sensations on one side, and values and nostalgias on the other, result in the situation in which visions and strategies have to be formulated.

Decisions have to be made. Lines have to be drawn. The islands are divided into zones of radical progress and stabilization. Separation triumphs over combination. Borders have to be constructed. The zones are divided by channels that form new artificial islands.  Definition triumphs over blurring. Visions have to be proposed.  The new radical islands are meant for intensification and become carriers of provocation. They are shouting landmarks in the vastness of calmed down nature.  Destination triumphs over nomadism.

The project Paradise Lost proposed for an international competition “The Kiev Islands” is examined as part of a series of further projects developed by OFCA. Office for Collaborative architects is a formal framework that identifies the way the projects were developed. Other conceptual frameworks, as emptiness, identity, concentration and urbanity, are identified and argued with the aim to formulate a design strategy.

Keywords: city, project, island, urban design, border