The Life of the Kharkiv School of Architecture


At present, the Studio system is a globally recognised approach to architectural training. The KhSA is the only architectural school in Ukraine which practises this methodology. The Studio format primarily means the appropriate space designed for this specific training methodology. The Studio space of the School accurately reproduces the working atmosphere of an architectural office. Every student has his/her work station. The students spend most of their time at the Studio. This is the place for academic work, consultations, self-study and recreation. The atmosphere of creativity generated by the Studio plunges the students into the design process.

The Studio format envisages weekly and monthly assessments that stimulate well-planned ongoing academic work. This approach facilitates the students’ search for design solutions and builds an understanding of the design cycle as a complex process of investigation, mistakes and experiments. There is a close rapport between the tutor and the students. The Studio format transforms training into bilateral interaction, in which the tutors provide knowledge through their practical experience and the students propose break-through approaches and technological innovations.

The Studio system places the students into a social environment where they start to provide critique, respond to criticism and collaborate. Such interaction between the peers or between the tutor and the students prepares the students for professional practice and develops their communication skills instrumental for working with their team, clients and communities.


During their training, the students actively experiment with various materials and structures. The workshops are a platform to get acquainted and work with materiality, shape, tectonics, and modern technologies.

The School provides its students with the modelling and the carpentry workshops. The modelling workshop is used by the students to design shapes and details and to make models and prototypes for their research and Studio projects. The shop is equipped with a laser cutter used for group work and with foam cutters and 3D printers used by small groups of 3-5 students. Other equipment includes a fret-sawing machine, borers and grinders. The carpentry workshop is stocked with planers and grinding saws, NC lathes, a big band-saw, a drill machine and grinders to be used for modelling by the students and their tutors.


Today, the KhSA library is the best architectural library in Ukraine, offering to both the students and the faculty the latest publication in architecture, urbanism and related disciplines. We specialise in architectural and urban design, history and theory of architecture, urbanism and urban studies, landscape architecture, heritage and reconstruction. The library numbers about 1,300 titles and it is expanding with new research papers and publications as a result of its collaboration with the architectural publishing houses of Europe and donors’ support. The use of the automated Koha library system gives the library a free access to the international library systems and provides an online access to the library catalogue. The library conducts monthly meetings of the KhSA Readers’ Club to discuss the key texts for architects.


The Studio system makes the School an active participant in today’s discussions about architectural training. Together with architectural schools of Europe, we are discussing and perfecting our curricula. Our partners are the top-rated architectural schools of Europe, including the School of Architecture at KU Leuven, Brussels and Ghent, Belgium, the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid (ETSAM), Spain, the Oslo School of Architecture and Design (AHO), Norway, the School of Architecture at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, and the School of Architecture at the University of Limerick, Ireland. The KhSA invites visiting lecturers from universities and architectural bureaus of other countries to join the academic process and introduce our students to different architectural cultures. Up-to-date training provided by the KhSA makes our students well-qualified to secure internship at the architectural offices in other countries. Each year more than 30 offices in different European countries are ready to consider our students’ applications for a three-month internship.


After receiving the BA degree from the KhSA, our graduates are ready for professional work. Their profound knowledge and up-to-date competences and skills make them competitive on the job market. The experience in studio design and the contact network which the students start building during their study under the supervision of the practitioners invited from the best architectural offices support the start of their professional career.

Our graduates are in demand both at new and reputable architectural offices, which value not only applied design skills, but also the young professionals’ ability of critical thinking, contextualization and conceptualization of project solutions. Out of the 13 graduates of the School, 10 immediately received job offers from architectural firms.

The KhSA curriculum provides extensive training in the Humanities and research work. In particular, two of the KhSA graduates have become researchers for Ro3kvit: Urban Coalition for Ukraine, initiated by the KhSA after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine.


5 Kontorska St., Kharkiv, UKRAINE, is our School’s address. The mid-19th century building is located in a street which juxtaposes different eras and keeps the true Kharkiv spirit alive. The workshops, the computer class, the Studio and the classrooms were created to plunge the students into the processes of design, research, and creation.


Currently, we are stationed in Lviv, on the premises of the Lviv National Academy of Arts in 35-A Kubiyovycha St., but we are definitely coming back into our building, to our Kharkiv.

In Lviv, we have managed to adjust the new space for the needs of the School, to recreate the crucial Studio spaces and the workshops, and to continue the academic process.