The new Kyiv Food Market is located inside a former military arsenal building dating from the end of the 18th century. Once a cold and empty space, it is now a meeting place that draws together Kyiv’s best restaurants under one roof. The concept was undertaken by the balbek bureau team (architecture) and developed by Alex Cooper, an innovator of food market projects, and restaurateur Mikhail Beilin.
Spatially, the food court restaurant units ring the perimeter of the space, leaving an open central atrium with approximately 300 seating places. As it was necessary to retain the original atrium height, all auxiliary spaces were placed above the food units.
The geometry of the façade windows was left in its original appearance, confining restoration work to the mere replacement of the glass. The wall on the opposite side of the hall was at one point completely bricked up, but during the project it was reopened. Inserts in the walls, where the brickwork is different were left as a reminder of the building’s rich past.
The main bearing structure of the roof and its trusses were preserved in their original form, with the lathing of the roof dismantled, restored, reinforced, and finally reinstalled.
The ground level features numerous high tables and a 27 m long (3 meters per unit) food serving counter stretching in a single line. The counter is tiled in various textures, creating a uniform appearance upon entering a unit kitchen. A durable self-leveling floor was installed throughout the level.
The second floor differs in tone and purpose, having a quieter atmosphere and including a private room. A feature wine rack is the main focal point of the space, with the walls otherwise left bare to reveal the original Arsenal brick.
The brickwork was covered with a special finishing, the formula and colour of which being developed by a conservation professional specifically for this project, to accurately reproduce the shade of the original brickwork.
The metal lining of the upper level walls, for which each leaf was bent individually, adds a modern accent.
The top level of the project is an observation point providing spectacular views of the neighbouring metro station and surrounding areas.