Balbek Bureau: Redefining Architectural Identity in Kyiv and Beyond

During the last years, Kyiv became one of Europe’s most active and trending cities. A bustling scene of creative industries and tech startups, created a fertile ground for architectural and interior design experimentation in a fast growing hospitality and residential industry: hotels, restaurants, clubs, bars, offices, housing projects, that set a new benchmark in creativity and brough new views towards East. Among the practices that shaped a new architectural identity is Balbek Bureau, a young yet prolific studio that crafted a unique style, always ahead of trends.

While the full scale invasion of Ukraine is having a deep impact on economy and development, Ukrainians don’t resign, and their resilience pushes them to find opportunities in the country and abroad. Balbek Bureau has a diverse and creative portfolio, working with Ukraine’s top tech companies, fashion and beauty brands, and the coolest new bars and cafes, among others. Their projects are not just found in Kyiv, Lviv or Odesa, but also across Central and Western Europe, Canada, the US, Mexico, China and even Antarctica.

While in Kyiv we visited the studio to interview founder Slava Balbek, to learn how despite the full scale invasion the team is still highly active, and the social and reconstruction projects that they balance while the country is under constant threat. We also recommend his recent TED Talk, on how to design for dignity during war times.

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