Kindling announces Ukraine hotel design competition winners

Kindling – the HIX-supported initiative created by London-based hotel design practices MKV Design and ReardonSmith – has announced the winners of this year’s competition.

Launched at HIX 2022, Kindling seeks to inspire Ukrainian university students to consider the time when hospitality replaces hostility, and has engaged architecture and interior design students across Ukraine via online mentoring sessions and competition mentoring.

The scheme is now arranging to bring a student from each of the winning categories to London in order to attend HIX 2023, receive their trophies at the AHEAD Europe ceremony on 17 November, and enjoy a five-day, all-expenses paid trip to the capital.

Over 40 students from colleges across Ukraine participated in the Kindling challenge to create a concept for a new urban, rural or coastal hotel in Ukraine following the end of the war. The competition featured three categories: architecture, interior design and architecture + interior design.

The winners:

Architecture: Rostyslav Hurskyi, Vadym Bilyk and Valeriia Likhitska of Lviv Polytechnic National University for their scheme “Archipelago Resort”

Interior Design: Valeriia Zhurba and Diana Pogosian of Kyiv National University of Construction & Architecture for “Pereyaslav”

Architecture + Interior Design: Olesia Danysh, Mariia Fedun and Katrin Berkela of Lviv Polytechnic National University for “Vidhomin”

The organisers and judges of Kindling were: Patrick Reardon & team from ReardonSmith Architects, Maria Vafiadis & team from MKV Design, and Su Pecha & team from ESP Business Development.

Patrick Reardon, Executive Chairman of ReardonSmith Architects, says: “Kindling has been both a hugely encouraging and a humbling experience for the partners. The level of commitment, thinking and creativity of these young people was very high, notwithstanding power blackouts and, in one case, a rocket attack. We were looking for vision and that is exactly what we received!”

Maria Vafiadis, Founder of MKV Design, adds: “It has been a joy to mentor the students and it is our sincere hope that the Kindling programme has inspired some of them to make a career of hospitality design. At the very least, I trust we have offered them the chance to engage in a positive experience which looks to a harmonious future.”  

The Winners

Archipelago Resort – Architecture Award

The concept took 2030 as its starting point – the year designated for Odessa to host a major Expo intended as the catalyst for an entirely new waterside district in the city. Designed as a complex of modular structures, Archipelago can evolve over time into any number of island destinations, each offering different guest experiences.

Pereyaslav Hotel – Interior Design Award

Pereyaslav means “step” – a symbol of independence, strength and national pride in Ukraine. The design draws from a fusion of traditional Ukrainian culture, including craftmanship, patterns and materials, and combines these with elements of modern hotel design. The result is cosy, natural, harmonious and anchored in context.

Vidhomin – Architecture + Interior Design Award

The hotel is located in Irpin which Ukraine liberated during the Kviv offensive of March 2022. The concept revolves around why people should want to visit Ukraine: cultural richness, natural beauty, historical significance, cuisine and warm hospitality. Vidhomin is for business and leisure. It also signifies revival in an area that has been devastated by war.

Kindling sponsors are: Schlüter-Systems and Vado (the winners’ visit to London). HIX is donating cash prizes to the winning teams. YOTEL Shoreditch is providing accommodation for the students during their London stay and AHEAD Europe is hosting the students as its guests.

Members of the three winning teams will be in attendance at HIX. Meet them at 2pm on Friday 17 November at the Blacksheep installation ‘The Umwelt Paradigm’ where they will be talking about their winning concepts.