It is difficult to describe BURSA in one word. It is not just a hotel or a restaurant, not a bar or an art gallery. It is all of the above, a bespoke hotel complex fitted comfortably into a mix of centuries-old buildings in historical and cultural center of Kyiv – Podil.
Project Name: BURSA
Architects: Slava Balbek, Andrii Berezynskyi, Daria Ovechenko
Designers: Nata Kurilenko, Liuba Myronchuk, Alexey Haro
Owner: Vasyli Grogol
Project Area: 1900 sq.m
Project Year: 03/17 – 04/18
Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Photo сredits: Yevhenii Avramenko
Our very first meeting with BURSA’s founder was an instant ‘click’, followed by months of panning, designing and building. Our shared vision – to create a conceptual space with its own philosophy – has materialized as a unique place with distinctive design and multiple functionalities.Two buildings – a hundred and a two hundred years old – were completely refurbished and, together with a newly erected modern block, integrated into a single complex, thus creating a visual connection between architectural styles and setting a tone for what might be inside.
Fully functional, BURSA encompasses a non-commercial art gallery, a 4-storey hotel offering 33 modern rooms of various sizes, a ground floor restaurant Belyi Shum (can be translated as White Noise), and a top-level bar 1818 that opens onto the rooftop terrace.
The common thread running through the entire space is a distinct influence of Bauhaus style, best known for promoting functionality in architecture and design through simplified geometrical forms and minimal use of embellishments. Every room and common area in BURSA hotel is our interpretation of Bauhaus style. Clean lines, simple forms, monochrome palette with just enough color to make an accent, to keep it unique. Even the smallest room feels spacious due to careful planning, use of light and color, and total exclusion of unnecessary elements.
We believe that for any design element to look authentic and original, it simply has to be just that. With such approach, we spend a lot of time searching for the right materials, furnishings and shapes. To make a brick frieze supporting the bar in the Belyi Shum Cafe, for example, we found bricks made in the same year as the building. We wanted the frieze to be perceived as an integral part of the wall, rather than a later addition forced into the interior. The restaurant chairs, another example, are deliberately ‘old school’ and all original, found in Parisian antique shops and flea markets, then restored in our workshop. They add character, and emphasize authenticity and originality of the place.
1818 was the year when the original building was erected, hence the name of the bar – 1818 – on its roof. In line with the overall architectural style of BURSA complex, we kept the design of 1818 functional and uncluttered. We wanted nothing to detract from, or compete with a colorful backdrop of diverse architectural forms surrounding the roof terrace.
“Natural’ and ‘original’, in addition to ‘functional’ and ‘minimal’ is another way to describe BURSA style. We created a place where ‘concrete stuff is made of concrete, and wooden things – of wood, just the way it should be’.
We hope we created a place where one comes as a guest and feels at home.