The pier on the Lake with a Swan was the result of the Product for the City project, which took place during the City Scanning Session Festival in 202). Our team researched the area and the space near the lake, interacted with it, and eventually engaged in a careful arrangement that complies with the principles of the circular economy and does not disturb the existing ecosystem.


FORMAT: event, research, spatial design

TIME: 2021

RELATED PROJECTS: City Scanning Session 2021, City Scanning Session 2019
PARTNERS: UCF, British Council Ukraine, Parasolka, Teple Misto, Studio Weave

The Lake with a Swan is a special place for the METALAB team. It is always about rest, love, and renewal. The pier on this lake was created as part of a project based on the circular economy principles called “Product for the City.” The METALAB team collaborated with British partners Architecture 00 and Studio Weave to implement this project — we conducted the research during the City Scanning Session festival in 2021. 

Before the actual construction at the area near the lake, the team had been working with it for a long time — since 2018 — as well as with the area around the Promprylad plant. We researched objects and materials in the city’s public spaces, consulted with partners, designed the facility, organized cleaning, installed furniture, and communicated with the community of residents near the lake. 

How did the swan appear on the Lake? 

In 2018, Yevhen Samborsky curated the visual part of the Porto Franco festival. He showed the lake to the artist Zhanna Kadyrova. Then, she created the swan sculpture “Origami” for this space. 

The history of interactions with space

Since then, we have been interacting with the space around the Lake with a Swan. In 2018, as part of the Urban Laboratory, we studied the area surrounding the Promprylad plant titled “Promprylad District: Post-Industrial in the Post-Socialist.” Then, we ended the lab with a large-scale event on the lake, where we invited locals with the tagline “They say it will be sunny.”

In 2019, during the City Scanning Session, we organized a workshop called Public Product. As a part of this workshop, we designed and installed a collection of weather-resistant and vandal-proof concrete furniture and other elements around the Lake’s space. Later, there was a performance by Sasha Popruha as part of the artistic residency and an environmental and artistic project by Wave Pool in collaboration with the neighborhood residents. From the beginning of METALAB’s history, we have been striving to involve the creative community in research and interaction with the city space.

Product for the City

Finally, in 2021, the Product for the City project took place. It consisted of several parts: research on materials in public spaces, a Design Challenge workshop, the installation of a pier, and an opening event.

An essential task of the project was to arrange the space carefully and lovingly without disturbing the ecosystem. The team did not change the landscape or dismantle existing structures but only adapted them for comfortable use. The concrete construction of the pier was covered with a timber frame and sheathed with wooden boards. A ramp was installed to give residents more comfortable access to the water. Another feature of the project is that the entire structure of the facility is designed according to the principles of the circular economy, namely:

  • we left the boards unpainted and unvarnished, covering the concrete terrace with them;

  • we reused metal to make metal constructions;

  • the ramp located above the ground does not disturb the biodiversity of the area: grasses can grow, local insects can live there, etc;

  • we intentionally chose not to install the ramp on a more straightforward and shorter path nearby because local children use it as a slide every winter.

During the Design Challenge (September 25-26), urbanists, designers, and architects discussed transforming urban space using new approaches to materials and design at the office, which strengthened the practical part of the project. 

Residents of the Parasolka Makerspace helped to make and install the structure. At the facility’s opening, we organized a neighborhood party — a picnic on the terrace.

We love the Lake with a Swan very much, so we will continue to work with this space. We believe the history of the pier on the lake is just the beginning.