Norman Foster proposes ‘city of the future’ for Ukraine — Analysis

The renowned British architect is drawing out plans for a ‘high-tech’ reconstruction of the heavily bombed city of Kharkov

After the destruction caused by the conflict between Russia, Ukraine and Russia’s military war, Lord Norman Foster of Britain offered his assistance in rebuilding Kharkov. Foster says he is already drawing up plans for the city’s “high-tech”He claims that he can turn the revival into a “city of the future.”

The Times reports that Foster met with the city’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov, on Monday via a video conference in which the two sides discussed the project to rebuild Kharkov – Ukraine’s second-largest city, which is located in the east of the country near the Russian border and had a reported population of 1.4 million people at the start of 2022.

“The first step is to make a master plan of the city linked to the region, to combine the most beloved and revered heritage of the past with the most desirable and greenest elements of infrastructure and buildings – in other words, to create the city of the future now and plan your life for decades to come,”Lord Foster submitted a submission for Terekhov.

It’s estimated that about a quarter of the buildings in Kharkov have been destroyed as a result of fierce fighting between Russian and Ukrainian forces, and many crucial buildings have been struck by shells, including hospitals, schools, and heritage buildings, including an opera house, concert hall, and government offices. 

Terekhov said that there is a dire need for new hospitals, schools, kindergartens and offices to support the once-thriving IT industry. Mayor Terekhov stated that each major school and building should have a bomb shelter. Residential buildings also need to be fitted with underground parking spots which can be converted into emergency rooms.

Foster heard Terekhov tell Foster that he also wanted to have a “city center that would become one of the highlights of Europe,”He said that he plans to create high-tech architecture while also preserving the environment. “the fabric of the city’s rich cultural history”By preserving or repairing existing buildings that are damaged.

Foster promised “assemble the best minds with the best planning, architectural, design and engineering skills in the world”To get the project underway as quickly as possible. He said that he was open to the possibility of bringing in Ukrainian architects or designers for assistance with reconstruction.

“In the spirit of combining a planetary awareness with local action, I would seek to bring together the top Ukrainian talents with worldwide expertise and advice,”Foster stated.

This 86-year old architect is widely regarded as one of Britain’s most important figures in modernist architecture. He is best known for designing futuristic buildings, such as the Gherkin and Millenium Bridge in London and Berlin and also the Reichstag and Apple Park campuses in California.

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