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Mykola Zharkikh (Kyiv)

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Degradation (late 19th – early 21 cent.)



Despite the fact that during period under review, no monument of the ensemble was destroyed, and vice versa, in this period began the scientific restoration of ancient buildings, in the town-planning aspect this period should be estimated as degradation.

The degradation was caused by uncontrollable natural process of development of the old town, in which the density and massiveness (height) of buildings increased significantly. The ensemble, which for centuries was a visual (architectural) and meaningful (sacred) dominant of the city, first dissolved in a sea of high-rise apartment buildings, and later, in the early 21st century, began to stand out in the opposite direction, turning into a group of low buildings within the "well" from the high-rise buildings.

As a result of growth in height of buildings, most points of specific disclosure of the ensemble (outside the reserve) have disappeared, which narrowed the role of the ensemble as a cell of architectural organization of space.

Spontaneous buildings destroyed urban composition axis oriented to Sophia Cathedral and its bell tower. For most of these axes the ensemble structures are not visible, and these axes lost their compositional value.

It should be noted that the chronological framework of the period of degradation, determined by us, based on the dynamics of development, rather than on the general historical periodization. Despite the change of political regimes, social and economic system, not to mention the change of individual managers, or concepts of Kiev, the densification process of building the old Kiev continued. It should therefore be classified as spontaneous, not amenable to direct management of the will of people.