archimatika converted a degraded, former industrial area in Kyiv into Comfort Town, a 40-hectare residential complex made of 180 low-rise, rainbow-colored apartment buildings erupting from their drab surroundings like Lego on a shabby grey carpet.
-text by the authors
Glance out of the airplane window as you descend into Kyiv’s Borispol airport and you are likely to spot a 40-hectare explosion of rainbow-colored concrete on the ground below. This is Comfort Town, erupting from its drab surroundings like Lego on a shabby grey carpet.
Comfort Town’s 180 low-rise apartment buildings are indeed inspired by children’s building blocks; a playful response to the sprawling 1950s and 1960s communist-era housing that encircles them.
The secured grounds operate as a city-within-a-city, housing everything needed for modern life, from shops and restaurants to schools and gyms. “Your little slice of Europe in Kyiv”, declares the brochure. Indeed, for the most part, its 8,500 apartments and manicured courtyards have been embraced by a generation of young families and urban professionals who feel culturally closer to Europe than to the country’s Soviet heritage.
The first residential complex in Ukraine based on the block development principle, instead of customary Soviet micro-district type.
A different number of stories of adjacent buildings (ranging from 2 to 16 floors) forms a picturesque image of every street. In the conditions of a limited budget, architects created sections with simple geometric shapes and made flat facades, thus excluding balconies and decorative elements.
The focus was on three techniques: silhouette, different turns and height of dual-pitch roofs allowed to achieve interesting shapes; window, the first housing project in Kyiv to use the French balcony system and the window shifting system, which allowed to avoid monotonous rows; color, the first daring color solution for a residential neighborhood in the country.
Residents have received a complex, comfortable environment with green pedestrian courtyards. Full infrastructural service includes fitness clubs, stores, kindergartens, and schools. A restored park with perennial trees, sculptures, and a fountain, block development, pedestrian courtyards where you can play with children – all that makes this residential the status of the district as a whole increased. Comfort Town is the most successful residential property in Ukraine. Sales indicators peaked at over 200 apartments per month.
- Creating a residential block that would sell itself even in the time of crisis, with the optimal cost price and attractive environment for future residents.
- Optimizing both construction cost price and technology
- Finding a technique that would use several standard sections to create a district from 150 repetitions of these sections while making it non-boring and comfortable
- Preserving existing green areas left after the demolition of the factory
- Transforming an industrial zone into ideal housing for happy people
- Creating the first medium-rise neighborhood and the first block development project in Kyiv
- Finding an image for an attractive residential neighborhood consisting of several types of repeating sections
- Block development helped divide the space into two types: streets (allowing for motor traffic) and courtyards (located inside the block and featuring children’s playgrounds, benches, and alleys). Motor vehicles cannot enter these inner courtyards, with the exception of emergency service vehicles which can use widened passageways paved with grass paver.
- Block development allowed to increase the length of passageways, thus providing more parking spots compared to the micro-district type of development.
- Having preserved all green areas that existed on this site and all existing landscape elements, we have received a habitable environment ready for development and featuring a garden park and a recreation area.
- In the conditions of limited cost price, we have created sections from simple geometric shapes and made flat facades, thus excluding balconies and decorative elements and focusing on three techniques:
- silhouette: different turns and height of dual-pitch roofs allowed us to achieve an interesting silhouette
- window: we were first in Kyiv to use the French balcony system and the window shifting system, which allowed us to avoid monotonous rows
- color: the first daring color solution for a residential neighborhood in the country
- Gable roofs are made from grooved metal. It was the range of manufacturers of grooved metal which determined the choice of color for particular sections. To compensate the brightness of this range, we introduced pastel shades in some places, and since their share wasn’t big, we were able to order, in the conditions of cost price, the necessary colors for individual painting and achieve a harmonious combination of bright and pastel shades.
- Limited budget of the project, commencement of work during a global economic crisis
- Revitalization of an industrial area for a residential complex
Facts and details
- Comfort Town is the most successful commercial project in Ukraine in the residential property sector for the last 25 years
- The Comfort Town area includes the Academy of Modern Education, a children’s complex consisting of a 160-seat kindergarten, a 140-seat elementary school, and the 600-seat Academy А+ school
- The residential complex also includes a 4500-sq.m retail complex with a supermarket, a 4600-sq.m fitness complex with three swimming pools and gyms, a 1.5-hectare complex of outdoor sports grounds, cafes, stores and offices on lower floors of apartment buildings, and an own maintenance service
- The complex’s parking facilities include three multi-story above-ground parking garages for 1000 cars, and another 5 parking garages for 1500 cars are designed for the next line of construction
- Comfort Town has its own active forum of residents
- The initial design featured an open-access complex, but the neighborhood’s bad surroundings prompted the residents to erect a fence
- The average number of stories in the complex is 8
- The total area of the Comfort Town premise (including new construction lines) exceeds 40 hectares
Facts & Credits
Project title Comfort Town
Typology Residential complex
Location Ukraine, Kyiv
Timeline 2009 – 2020
Total area 512 200 sq.m
Architecture firm archimatika
Lead architects Dmytro Vasyliev, Aleksandr Popov, Olga Alfiorova
Design Team Dmytro Vasyliev, Aleksandr Popov, Olga Alfiorova, O. Stolovyi, K. Romanenko, O. Lymarenko, S. Hrabar, O. Chubarov, V. Bebeshko, V. Pleshynets, Y. Zynovieva, O. Myhda, M. Morkovnyk, S. Kovalchuk, O. Hrytsak, K. Onachuk, A. Denysenko, V. Sinenko
Construction firm KAN Development
Awards and recognitions
- 2010 Housing award in the Best Residential Complex Design in Ukraine nomination
- 2013 Housing award
- The Best Economy Class Residential Complex in Kyiv in 2013 award at the 2013 All-Ukrainian Urban and Suburban Real Estate Forum
- 1st class diploma in the 2014 Public Property nomination
- Winner of the 2016 Choice of the Year international festival contest in the Residential Complex of the Year nomination
- European Property Awards 2016-2017 in the Residential Development nomination
- World Architecture Festival 2019: Finalist in nomination Housing – Completed Buildings
- World Architecture Festival 2019: Use of Colour Prize