The 'Slovo' Centre of Slavic Writing. Pavilion No. 58, Agriculture (former pavilion of the Ukrainian SSR)
The 'Slovo' Centre is open to the public. One can enter the pavilion once every hour. The first session starts at 11:00 AM and last, at 9:00 PM.
The 'Slovo' Centre for Slavic Writing is a unique museum and educational complex for children and adults, a point of attraction for all lovers of the Russian language, fans of architecture, culture and history. Here you will learn how Russian writing is evolving, what role it plays in the lives of different nations and how it has been interacting with oral speech over the centuries.
- One part of the exposition tells its visitors about how written language appeared and how it has been evolving.
- The other part is dedicated to the connection between the written word and the spiritual, cultural and political life of society.
- The third part is all about the history and the future of letters—the main symbols of written language.
- The final part, titled Culture Without Written Language, is dedicated to the destiny of oral language. It talks about folklore, linguistic peculiarities and non-verbal means of communication. Guests can listen to lullabies and epic ballads and watch videos while relaxing in special felt pods.
Date of Construction, Author
The pavilion was built in 1954 by the architect A. A. Tatsii.
Until 1964: Ukrainian SSR.
A cultural heritage site of federal significance.
In 1937, a temporary wooden Pavilion of Ukraine based on the project by A. A. Tatsii and N. K. Ivanchenko was built on the territory of the Exhibition, which was still under construction. Here is a description of it from Arkhitekturnaya Gazeta:
'A rectangular building with an expressive silhouette thanks to typical Ukraining pediments in the shape of cropped triangles. The overhang of the roof above the pediment is supported by coupled columns transforming into corner porticos. The walls are covered with frescos merging with the natural floral stylobate of the building. The roofing of the pavilion is covered with red tiles of a special patterned design.'
Later, the author had to make several changes to the project, and the most important of them were made just 4 months before the opening of the Exhibition. In late March 1939, during the Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (b), the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Ukraine N. S. Khrushchev visited the just-finished Pavilion of the Republic and left very displeased by it. 'Ukraine is the granary of the Soviet Union but its pavilion looks worse than the Moscow pavilion!' he steamed. The building was about to be demolished but the Chief Engineer of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition S. A. Alexeev suggested surrounding it with new outer walls.
The façade was made from gypsum slab which made look like the ticket office at the Kyiv railway station designed by D. N. Chechulin rather than a traditional Ukrainian house. The entrance arch was decorated by a wreath with a garland of juicy fruit. A stained glass window was installed in a niche. It was made from shining tinted plastic, the first time it was used in building decoration. Golden spikes decorated the pavilion from all sides.
In 1947, after the decree to resume the work of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition was issued, workers found out that many wooden buildings of the Exhibition had begun to decay. So, the Ukrainian SSR pavilion was included in a reconstruction plan.
The construction works on the building that we can admire today began in 1950. According to the plan back then, the building was supposed to recreate some features of the previous pavilion. However, during construction works in 1951, almost all projects underwent significant changes.
The designer of the Ukrainian SSR pavilion built for the opening day of the All-Union Agricultural Exhibition in 1954 was A. A. Tatsii with assistance of V. I. Chuprina and G. V. Shlakanev. The project took into consideration the orders of N. K. Khrushchev and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Ukrainian SSR.
History of Expositions
Initially, the pavilion's exposition reflected Ukraine's accomplishments in crop farming, cattle breeding, mechanisation and electrification, science and culture. During the Soviet period of VDNH, it also included industrial achievements in such areas as metallurgy and mining, oil and gas, chemistry and coal and tar chemistry, machine engineering, electrical energy etc.
In 1964, the pavilion housed the Agricultural Exposition. In 1977, the exhibition of Ukraine occupied the pavilion again as a part of the In a United Country exposition dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Revolution.
In 1997, the building accommodated a branch of the Culture pavilion.