Inside the mind-boggling town that looks like it’s been built out of LEGO

You’d be forgiven for thinking you’re looking at a life-size Lego city. What you are actually looking at is a real-life housing project known as Comfort Town.

The multi-coloured city in Kyiv, Ukraine was designed to brighten up the former grey Soviet buildings from the 1950s and 60s.

Now, screaming yellows, bright oranges, lime greens and pastel blues rise eight stories high, stretch over 40 hectares and house more than 20,000 people.

It’s no accident that the colourful town resembles a Legoland. The project architects Dmytro Vasyliev, Aleksandr Popov, Olga Alfiorova had the thumb-size construction toys front of mind as they designed the town.

The trio worked on the project for a whopping 11 years. Their main goal was to create a beautiful residential block that would be sellable, even in a time of crisis.

Life in Comfort Town is well, comfortable. The residential complex includes a 4500sqm retail complex and a 4600sqpm fitness complex with three swimming pools. On top of that, the rainbow city has gyms and a 1.5-hectare outdoor sports ground.

As the name suggests the brief is easy living. Cafes, stores and offices sit on the bottom level of the apartment complex and residents even get their very own maintenance service.

Comfort Town
Unlike Legoland, life is a lot more spacious in Comfort Town © @avdeenko_photographer

A dark history

While the colours would stand out anywhere they especially do in Kyiv. The city has a rather grey housing history.

In 1954 Nikita Khrushchev – the Soviet Communist leader at the time – called for an overhaul of Soviet architecture. He ordered architects to focus entirely on unadorned, standardised builds. And that had to be low-cost.

Tens of thousands of identical colourless apartments went up to ease the national housing crisis. While they served their social purpose their drab aesthetic is an eyesore. Many places have started programs to take them down.

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