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Pre-fabulous: Flower Pots

Written by Ian Bearder

A study of prefabricated and moulded concrete. Part 2. 

A few weeks ago, I started a study of ‘Soviet concrete with a highly unscientific study of the pre-fabricated concrete fence.

Inspired by what I discovered, this week I ventured forth into Kyiv’s city jungle to study the fence’s small cousin – the flower pot.

Background 

In Russian 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”

In the Soviet Union it seems that they were big fans of prefabricating things from concrete and also of factory moulding various other objects. 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. This week I explored the moulded flower pots.

Results

Like the pre-fab fences, you might not notice these little concrete monuments when you first arrive in the city, but they are so ridiculously common that once you have noticed them – you wont be able to leave the house without spotting them on the street. The positive effect they have on the city is somewhat amplified by the dizzying colours in which they are painted. In fact, I suspect the Ukrainian obsession with uber-bright colourful paint is, in part, a rebellion against the grey monotony of this multifaceted material.

I discovered that most of the pot designs are available either as a full square or as a smaller half-square oblong pot. There are also round designs and vase-style pots which people are obviously very proud of because they are the most well painted.  By far the most common pot is the small ‘half-moon’ and after this, the similar ‘apple core’ design.

Here’s a small number of Kyiv pots for you to enjoy. Please bare in mind that I made myself look like a complete idiot  photographing these for you.

Sometimes they are used for grass and even trees

The Kyiv city administration building has them, but as you can see, they are especially decorative.

The full square

Two half-square ‘look at me, I’ve been painted’ pots. They have the four stripe design.

Some shop owners do not care for their concrete pots, leaving them unloved and flowerless.

Flower pot meets abstract art

The ‘Big Boss’ squared pot

Such is the level of respect for concrete, that moulded pots may be used to bare witness to business contracts.

Cute pink paint can be used to camouflage the pot’s role as guardian of the street. This pot stops SUVs from invading the residential street.

More pot-modernism that nobody understands, or cares for

The common ‘winged’ pot

End view of the common winged pot

The ‘half-moon’ on the left is the smallest and most common pot. Here it stands proud next to a painted vase-type pot.

The 4×4. For sides, four stripes, four colours

Creative use of the ‘half moon’ pots

Another ‘pinky’ stands alone but unashamed near Klovska metro

Some pot are big and round

…most are painted in dazzling colours

Fresh green plants compensate for the tired paintwork

A single happy flower sits proudly in her huge golden throne.

Ian

NB. This post is special birthday dedication for Sanela ‘funny name’ Stanišič. Многая Літа!! 

     

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.