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Pre-fabulous: Fences

Written by Ian Bearder

A study of prefabricated concrete.

Smile. Pre-fab fences can be used for shade and for hanging bags on

In Russian and Ukrainian the word ‘fabrika’ means factory. In English, we use a similar word ‘fabricated‘ to mean ‘constructed’ or ‘made’.

‘Prefabricated’ or simply ‘pre-fab‘ is “to manufacture in standardised sections, ready for quick assembly”

Now, it is well known that the only thing that aroused Europe’s communist leaders more than power was concrete, and in the Soviet Union it seems that they were big fans of prefabricating things with this dull yet versatile material. As a result it is almost impossible to move in Ukraine without passing a concrete tribute to their soviet past.

I decided to explore some of the most common concrete objects, starting with the ubiquitous pre-fab concrete fence.

Here’s what I found.

Pre-fab fences often have decorative tops and security wire

Some pre-fab fences have lines

You can paint the concrete pink

This is not a pre-fabricated fence. It is a Lada

Flat concrete fences are good for graffiti

You can use them as a table for beer

Some are just flat

This is a fence + a car because just fences can get quite boring

Babushkas know a lot about concrete fences

This is a middle-class, trendy, concrete fence. It’s embossed AND painted.

Nice paintwork

The traditional or ‘common’ embossed pre-fab makes a nice back-drop for a shrine.

The traditional or ‘common’ embossed pre-fab

Brrrruum. Pre-fab concrete keeps cars away from your home.

The ‘common’ embossed fence is ‘Kool’

A close-up of the ‘common’ embossed fence.

A lively-pink ‘common’ embossed fence.

A ‘common’ embossed fence protects a pre-fabricated apartment from the grass

Please focus on the cars, not the men. What they are doing may be illegal.

Pre-fab + tram + tree = beauty

A man tries to hide his excitement as he walks past a decorative ‘diamond’ concrete fence.

The decorative ‘diamond’ concrete fence uses a simple pattern to create a stunning visual effect which also lets people see through to the other side.

Concrete fences and plants are not natural friends, however some times they develop loving relationships

The ‘diamond’ fence creates stunning visual angles which are very popular with photographers.

Some people do not care for their concrete.

Others draw cartoons on them

Real men like concrete and 4×4 jeeps

This design is called the ‘circle’. Sometimes the circles are holes, sometimes not.

A nice example of the ‘circle’

Is it a brick wall?

…of course not. Its a fabulous pre-fab!

This is the last car, I promise. Look at those wheels!!

I saved the best until last. Ladies and gentlemen – I introduce ‘Arches’

‘Arches’ is an old design, but remains a classic symbol of style

If I owned a property in Ukraine, I would definitely want to have pre-fabricated concrete arches. Other pre-fabs don’t even come close.

     

About the author

Ian Bearder

Ian has been living in Kyiv on-and-off since 2009 and he launched Kyiv.Cool in 2014 to promote the lighter side of life in Ukraine's crazy capital. He doesn't just love Kyiv - he feels genuinely sorry for people who don't live here.
If he's not out on his bike, he's normally wandering in Podil or exploring some forgotten corner of the city.