Kiev apartment resident turns scruffy stairwell into a gilded palace

By Shaun Walker in Kiev

Vladimir Chaika has spent years installing ornamental plaster mouldings and art reproductions in a Soviet-era block of flats

From the outside, number 11A is a drab block of flats like any other in Troyeshina, a scruffy Kiev suburb of identikit Soviet-era housing. The entrance door is daubed with graffiti, the ground floor hallway dingy and depressing.

But exit the lift between floors six and eight, however, and the contrast with the grey, snowy winter outside could not be greater. The stairwell has been plastered, gilded and ornamented so it resembles a Tsarist palace more than a Khrushchev-era block of flats. Set in gilded frames, reproductions of the Mona Lisa and other well-known portraits stare out. Cherubs and ornamental flowers adorn the ceiling; set amid the swirling plaster are colourful vistas of desert islands fringed with palm trees.

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Source: Kiev apartment resident turns scruffy stairwell into a gilded palace


Oliver Wainwright's top 10 buildings of 2016

By Oliver Wainwright

A billion-dollar beanpole, a social housing revolution, a powerful memorial in Norway and the Tate’s wondrous watchtower … our critic picks his 2016 architecture highlights

Jutting up behind Giles Gilbert Scott’s stately temple of electricity like an aggressive brick Dalek, the Tate Modern Switch House is one of the strangest buildings to appear in 2016. And its power comes from its refusal to do anything that you might expect.

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Source: Oliver Wainwright’s top 10 buildings of 2016


Ten years of feel-good modernism: Brisbane's Goma still raises the bar

By Andrew Frost

On its 10th anniversary, the Gallery of Modern Art showcases the breadth of its permanent collection but can’t escape the erosion of traditional art spaces

It only seems like yesterday that I flew up to Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art for the grand opening in 2006 – an event that was a launch for both the country’s youngest public art gallery and the fifth iteration of the Australia Pacific Triennial, the gallery’s signature exhibition.

That event a decade ago set the bar for all subsequent Goma openings: lots of colourful, large-scale art mixed with generous free entertainment and bar privileges. And so it was, too, for last week’s 10th birthday bash.

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Source: Ten years of feel-good modernism: Brisbane’s Goma still raises the bar