Restoring the architectural heritage together: the history of cooperation between the NBU and Comfortbud in the projects of restoration of banking structures
Seven years of cooperation in three cities of Ukraine. The unique restoration projects that preserve architectural traditions. Modern solutions that meet high requirements at the state level. All this is about the fruitful cooperation of the National Bank of Ukraine and the Comfortbud Design Institute.
Everything started in 2010, when the specialists of the company commissioned a government structure to develop the concept of the “Prykarpattia” sanatorium complex in Yaremche, which provided for the development of a plot of 2.7 hectares. Although this project has not yet been implemented, it has become a pledge of further cooperation with the NBU, demonstrating the possibilities of Comfortbud in designing from the ground up, with strict observance of terms and conditions specified by the customer. This was the defining criterion that formed the basis of business relations that continues to this day, being embodied in interesting projects of reconstruction and restoration of banking facilities.
Concept of the sanatorium complex “Prykarpattia” in Yaremche
And there are a lot of them, because the main bank of the country is a structure that has its own history, traditions and buildings, built back in the past centuries. Restoring them with preservation of architectural value is not easy. Those who work in the design and construction market know: creating new objects is much easier than restoring old ones. Restoration is an extremely complicated and time-consuming process, which saves a considerable amount of time and effort, careful study of the history of the building and close attention to detail. But the specialists of Comfortbud did not doubt that they would successfully cope even with such difficult tasks. And the first project of the restoration of the Main Building of the NBU Office in the Lviv region proved that the choice of the contractor was unmistakable.
Next is more! If pre-order required only highly specialized decisions, then the next is the restoration of the Training Corps No. 1 of the Lviv Institute of Banking on Shevchenko Avenue already included major repairs, which was also done in compliance with all customer requirements. Experience, speed and high professionalism have become the foundation upon which further joint work has grown. Increasingly, the Comfortbud Design Institute has won tenders, becoming essentially one of the permanent contractors of the National Bank of Ukraine in the field of design, reconstruction and construction.
Over time, the complexity of the tasks grew – the company’s specialists had to take care of the restoration of the buildings that were part of the city’s architectural heritage. Among them is the project of restoration of the facade of the hostel building №1 of the Lviv Institute of Banking of the University of Banking of the NBU. This building on the Copernic Street, built in the early 20th century in the style of the Florentine Neo-Renaissance, is an architectural monument of local significance. Therefore, it was so important to keep its unique features, restore lost elements, and protect against further influences of time.
In order to achieve these goals, Comfortbud Design Institute specialists broke the work into several stages – the first included photo fixing of the facade and the formation of a restoration task. The second consisted of a working draft, which was approved by the state expert examination. Further – architectural measurements, probing and chemical-technological surveys took place with the help of specialists from one of the Lviv universities. And until then, taking into account all the data received, a restoration of the facade was carried out.
“In the process of restoration according to the project were completed: the cleansing of the rostrum and architectural details from the layers of dirt, desalination of the facade sections, strengthening of the layered areas of the marmot, repair and restoration of balconies, authentic stone and metal details of the facade, – says Chief Engineer of projects Yaroslav Uhryn – We also carried out waterproofing and cladding of balcony slabs, lining the facade and restoring lost architectural details.”
Thanks to such a meticulous approach, we managed to embody everything planned – restored to Copernicus gained magnificent appearance, which fully corresponds to its Renaissance silhouette.
Is it easy to reconstruct all buildings? After all, on the architectural map of Ukraine are not only beautiful houses of the Renaissance or exquisite modern, but also buildings with industrial architecture, which does not always look so aesthetically pleasing. But, as experience has shown, if specialists do it, they will be able to restore virtually any object in the city, if “capture” the architect’s idea and redefine it in accordance with new tasks.
In the project of restoration of the former plant “Arsenal” specialists of the Institute managed to achieve these goals. Built in the 90’s, as a production and administrative building, the building possessed a distinct industrial architecture. After it became the property of the National Bank of Ukraine, it was decided to create an Archive for storing paper and electronic materials, where about 3 million archival files would be kept. And this meant that the construction was to go not only through the stage of external restoration – it had to change from the inside, adapting to new operational requirements.
There were a lot of work, the work was important and complicated – so the NBU has traditionally entrusted it to proven professionals. Comfortbud Company has trusted, quickly gathering the initial data for the Reconstruction Project, ensuring modern regulatory requirements for archival storage, operating conditions of the staff, energy efficiency and energy saving.
«Comfortbud Design Institute made full scale drawings, pre-project proposals were prepared: plans, sections, visualized facades, engineering offers, conditions for safe operation of the building, — says Chief Engineer of the projects Mykola Khrshanovskyi. – All proposals are agreed with the Customer and are the basis for further development of the project documentation. We have already done a town-planning calculation and received city-planning conditions and restrictions, technical specifications, drawn up and agreed with the Customer Tasks for designing, executed tasks for engineering and survey works, estimates for design and survey work have been developed, and the estimated cost of reconstruction has been determined. »
The full range of dimensional drawings, the development of pre-design plans and visualizations, urban planning calculations and urban planning conditions and constraints, the development of estimates for design and survey work and the determination of the estimated cost of reconstruction – these are just some of the stages of this large-scale project. Each of them agreed with the Customer, and each one took into account the functionality of the future archive. Conditions of safe, energy-saving and efficient operation of the house, along with its external reconstruction, allowed creating a reconstruction project that corresponds not only to the new purpose, but also will be in harmony with the surrounding landscape.
But the real dream for Comfortbud restorers was a building in the heart of the capital – here you could fully use all the knowledge and experience gained at previous stages of work. One of the most recent projects in which Comfortbud and the NBU now cooperate – the restoration and re-profiling of the former Therapeutic and Wellness Complex of the National Bank of Ukraine located at the Institutska Str. 9. In the history of the building, such changes are not taking place for the first time – built in 1905 as a wagon for service apartments of bank employees, in 1997 he was re-qualified for a health-improving complex. Now – again, it must become an administrative building. Restoration of the building, which is an architectural pearl on one of the central streets of Kiev, was an extremely responsible task, but this did not become an obstacle to creative rethinking – the team of the Design Institute took care to preserve historical peculiarities and to adapt the building to new requirements.
“One of the current tasks is the Restoration of the building of the health-improving complex of the National Bank of Ukraine to the administrative building, – notes Andrii Matviienko, Chief Specialist of the Department for the Support of the National Bank of Ukraine Activities. The implementation of previous works involved the Limited Liability Company “Comfortbud’ Design Institute” whose task is to: to change the functionality of the building, to bring the building and engineering systems in line with modern technical requirements and to ensure keeping the architectural monument in good condition “.
As is usually the case, the result of restoration should be both aesthetic and practical. After all, people will work here, and one of the priority tasks is to create a truly comfortable working environment for them. And the first steps towards restoring and changing the purpose of the building at the Instytutska have already been made.
“Our organization carried out research, developed a restoration task, pre-project proposals with plans for premises of a new appointment, tasks for design and urban planning, – tells about the progress of the chief project engineer Mykola Khrshanovskyi – Given that the house is a monument of architecture we came up to proposals for restoration with minimal interference in the historic facade, even on the contrary, we propose to return to it the primary appearance, namely to apply windows with a historical pattern »
Scrupulosity is above all else. The National Bank of Ukraine, in almost 10 joint projects, was able to make sure that Comfortbud deals with the restoration of the building literally “under the microscope.” Understanding the importance and representativeness of such projects, given the tremendous weight of government orders, the company once again confirmed the reputation of a responsible, highly professional partner who can be entrusted with complex and extraordinary tasks. So you can be sure that for the first almost a dozen projects NBU and Comfortbud will be the next. After all, when cooperation has been checked for years and confirmed by successful decisions – it remains confident to move forward. And interesting tasks at the state level are one of the best motivators, inspired by constant development, creative search and non-standard realization of bold ideas in designing and restoration.