Osmolovka in Minsk
Architecture, Industrial buildings
THE ARCHITECTURE AND HISTORY OF OSMOLOVKA, ITS DOCUMENTARY VALUE
In the center of Minsk, not far from the building of the Opera House there is a micro region called by the name of the architect who built it M. Osmolovsky. Getting to Osmolovka, a casual passerby can easily feel like undergoing a time machine to the middle of the 20th century. This miraculously preserved oasis of urban development is the first new micro region, designed from scratch in the 40s of the post-war Minsk.
Two districts of typical European buildings of that time are located between Bogdanovich, Kiselev, Communist and Kuibyshev Streets. Such elements of architecture as the bay windows, buttresses, galleries even nowadays create a sense of traditional classical comfort.
The district was designed for the resettlement of people in almost completely destroyed capital. Here lived the employees of the located nearby General Staff and the staff of the Opera House, and many other eminent people.
The region is built up with very picturesque two-storey mansions. They preserved the features of that epoch, and that’s why various filmmakers from different studios of CIS come here to shoot films on subjects of that time.
Once the region was located on the wasteland, but now houses and yards are surrounded by trees. The interiors, the planning of which is so different from modern ones, can be used as the artifacts to study the history and life of the postwar period, when to obtain a living space was tantamount to falling into a fairy tale. A rare miracle of living in your own small flat with a tiny kitchen, sewerage and water supply, created region’s reputation as of elite residential complex.
That time there was a furnace heating (later became central) and a fence with a gate, which was locked at night, was erected. The whole columns, some of them with original decorative elements are preserved even now.
Pavement in the yards and sidewalks were made of stone blocks, some porches that time and now came out to the street, hiding behind the abat-jour of the building, over which there was a traditional as if curious, balcony.
THE ROLE OF THE REGION AS A GREEN ZONE
Conscientious planting greenery of Osmolovka by residents and the responsible authorities in the past years formed a unique ecological environment, giving the micro region an ecological status. Scientists and environmental services of the city testify that on the territory of the region of 7 hectares, grow 1300 trees, which exceeds the number of green plantings in comparable areas, considered to be park zones.
Strong, mature trees grow, some of them were planted even at the time of the micro region building, they are around 70 years old, they stand silently and serve people providing "services" (an official ecologist’s term), giving the opportunity to breathe and live.
Someone will call Osmolovka a village, someone will take off his hat to preserved memories and values of previous generations in this "village" and will think of a unique microclimate which in itself - a miracle, a rarity.
Not by chance, the residents of Minsk, sincerely loving Osmolovka, petition to the authorities about securing of its status of the historical and cultural value. To their opinion eminent architects from different countries are enthusiastically joined. They have applied to the Government of Belarus with a request to preserve, maintain and restore the micro region, symbolizing "two-storey Europe" in the center of the capital of Belarus.