Monday, March 9, 2015


Ukraine is synonymous with bricks in my mind. Bricks seem to make up most everything: the streets, the walls, the water towers, the churches, the massive apartments housing hundreds. Here in the US bricks evoke a certain sense of nobility- a distinguished university, a colonial home- yet in Ukraine brick is more of a building fact than an architectural statement.

University in Poltava

It is perhaps a strange hobby, but so much brick caught first my eye and soon, the lens of my camera as well. Enjoy : )

New church under construction.

The ubiquitous warning to not walk too near some of the older brick buildings. Sadly, these are the same kinds of buildings that have been under rocket fire recently in eastern Ukraine.
We lived in this building for a year. Just like in the other places we rented, there were no fire alarms or smoke detectors, so I was grateful for comparatively fire-resistant property of brick.
Another omnipresent detail in Ukraine: the benches for babushki and teenagers in front of every apartment building. Love those benches!
A sad little- I think?- abandoned home we walked by one winter.
Built August 1964.
One of my favorite buildings in Kharkiv, super-intimidating in person!
Interesting to get an inside peek at the building process.

If you take stock in fairytales, maybe the 3 little pigs had it right- brick is best!


  1. Shortly after we moved to Ukraine we realized that it is near impossible to find a smoke detector in the store. We went around to many stores only to hear responses like, "You need to go to a super specialized store for something like that." Restaurants have them, so it must be possible to buy somewhere, but we just ended up getting some in the States.
    Shows the huge influence that bricks have had here compared to the nearly all wood construction in the US.

    1. Have to admit, after a few recent months of midnight "false alarms" I kind of miss the days of no smoke alarms ever. Glad you guys managed to track some down.

      I just saw your recent post about spring... it's looking quite pretty over there!