Reconstruction of Koliivshchyny square in Lviv

Koliivshchyny Square is located in the former Jewish quarter of the Old Town in Lviv, Ukraine. It is characterized by dense urban fabric with narrow streets. It is one of the most historically enriched spaces in Lviv. The square was formed quite late, after the dismantling of one of the ancient stone houses and on the site called Wasteland. The place is characterized by a very small size, about 600 sq.m. corresponding to the size of the two prior plots. Facades of neighboring houses are turned to the square, rebuilt later in different styles, what diversify the overall look of the square. The character of the square is closed and very intimate, in fact, this cozy atmosphere is very valuable in the crowded urban environment of the historic city center. Also important is the symbolic content and feeling of the presence of multi-layered history.

Old well, paving and other finds

On the basis of archeological excavations on Koliivshchyny Square, it was found that the area did not have a hard surface before, but a soil surface with admixtures of building material from a collapsible building that existed on this place until the XVIII century.
It was also possible to find an ancient well, the exact location of which was unknown. Its foundation has been preserved in very good condition and indicated the place where the renovated well can be located in today’s square.

White stone paving (limestone) was present in the buildings cellars (underground floor). And it was also laid around the ancient well. These stones, found in good condition, were removed, cleaned and re-used in a paving around the restored well. This tracing is made at the level of paving, symbolically indicating the presence of an ancient well on the todays square.

During the reconstruction of the square was reused paving from the XIX – early XX centuries – large cobblestones (200x200x200mm). Granite tiles 300x300x60mm of light grey color, Pokostivske deposit (heat-treated, non-slip) are used in paving of the sidewalks to replace concrete tiles of improper quality. All adjacencies of paving slabs to the contours of adjacent buildings and to the curbs are made by edging with small black paving stones 70x70x70mm (black granite) in order to reduce irregularities in the geometry and gaps of the adjacency. Thus, light paving is clearly highlighted in color for the most intensive used areas.

The middle part of the square, which also combines green fragments, is paved with small (70x70x70 mm) granite cobblestones of light gray color (Pokostivske deposit). Thanks to this type of coverage, this part of the territory will receive better moisture due to the penetration of rain water into the seams between the cobblestones, and will not remove all rainwater into the sewer, thus creating a more favorable microclimate for greenery and people staying here.
Tracing and reproduction of historical and archeological finds on the square.

Before the appearance of Koliivshchyny Square, in its place were ancient buildings, due to their unsatisfactory condition, they were dismantled in the XIX century. The location of the walls of these buildings has been established on the basis of numerous cartographic materials, as well as confirmed by archaeological research. The location of the walls of ancient houses is marked at the paving with another type – clinker bricks.

Along the contour of one side of the square was a medieval wall, also found during archaeological research, and it was marked with the same material from which it was built – now it is visible on the surface of the square.

Landscaping

Since the square is located in the historic center of the city, the need for environmental comfort is very important. Green areas are located on the square in such way that landscaping is evenly distributed throughout the square (except for emergency services paths) and does not obstruct the movement of people, as well as maintain a more humid and shaded landscaping microclimate. The green areas are framed by large, reusable stone pavement.
Two rows of trees have been planted on the square – Crataegus monogyna ‘Stricta’ along the buildings facades. This emphasizes the chamber character and small scale of the square and more clearly outlines its boundaries.

Urban memory

The project proposes outdoor chairs as seatings, they adapt well to the small enclosed space of the square and provide different variations of opportunities for sitting and communication, alone or together, further emphasizing the intimacy of the space of the square. The chairs accent the impression of the square as a place where residents can sit, even those who no longer live here and will never return.

Also around the well are the names of residents and employees of the neighborhood who once lived or worked here, but were later forced to leave their homes.

The pattern of tree grilles comes from the oldest tree grilles preserved in Lviv and until recently located at the entrance to the city park.

The project proposes to install a reconstructed historic Lviv lantern. This lantern is located near the well and forms an ensemble with it. It is a single special object, like the well itself, and together they make a dialogue between two unique elements of the square.

History of Koliivshchyny Square

The square originated in the early period of Austrian monarchy, after the street, named New was laid on the site of the dismantled southern ridge of the city fortifications (modern Brativ Rohatyntsiv street) in 1875. The area between The Old Jewish str. (another names: Jewish, Vekslyarska str.) and Brativ Rohatyn str. (earlier Nova str.) were formed on the site of the Galezov House and the “Kopl Tevlevych Wasteland”, which stood near the ancient “Jewish Tower”. Initially, the square was called Żydowska (Jewish), and in 1871 it was renamed Vekslyarska square. Soviet power in 1944 changed its name to Koliivshchyna square. By the beginning of the twentieth century, there was a well in the square that supplied water to the entire Jewish section. It was a place of meetings and communication of local residents before ІІ World War. Now it is a new location of the Old city that has revived after many years of desolation.

Project location: Koliivshchyny square, Lviv, Ukraine

Design year: 2018-2020

Year Built: 2021

Client: Department of Historic Environment Protection within the project Re_HERIT: Joint responsibility for common heritage.

General contractor: Welt Capital LLC

Manufacturer of urban equipment: LOZA & Dobro design studio

Awards: Prize of National Architects Union of Ukraine 2021 in the nomination “Landscape Architecture, Urban Environment Design / category: Realized Object”

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