FAINA Gallery of live Ukrainian design

Brought to life by the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine, FAINA nurtures its connection to land and ethnic roots. The space of FAINA Gallery in Antwerp is a manifesto to the brand's philosophy of “live design”. Primitive and archetypal forms, ancestral symbols and traditional craft, natural materials — all shape the minimalist, yet spirited language of design.

Year: 2021
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Photo by Piet-Albert Goethals

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The gallery found home in a historical 500-year-old building in Antwerp, Keizerstraat Street.

“We respected the spirit of the space, its history, and didn't reconstruct much. We left the authentic ceiling with old beams in their original state. For the walls we just used natural paint so they could breathe,” comments Victoria Yakusha.

The two-room interior is united by the leitmotif of earth, one of the core pillars of ‚live design‘.

“Nothing is more powerful than the energy of earth. I wanted to convey this feeling of grounding, serenity in the interior”, adds Yakusha.

For her design gallery the architect conceived monochrome spaces — one color exploring depth of hues through different textures. From hand-sculpted SONIAH lamps stemming from the ground to the organic curves of PLYN sofa, laying like stones that have been naturally polished by wild waters — one is welcomed by calm earthy shades, the colors of Mother Earth and life.

A stainless steel bespoke cabinet displays FAINA ceramics, glass decor, and home scents. Like a cabinet de curiosité, it transforms the volume of the space and balances it in texture, acting also as a portal to the next space.

The deep black hues of clay, wood, wool, and other natural materials of the second room refer to the rich, black soil of Ukraine.

Depicting an old Trypillian symbol of earth, a handwoven tapestry made on an ancient Carpathian loom hovers above a black wooden cabinet running along the wall. Primitively designed, the bespoke cabinet is finished with the holes — a continuing motif of Victoria's designs. 

Both rooms unite in a serene minimalist interior accentuating texture and revealing the nature of each material and object. A signature finish for the walls was created by Victoria, 12 layers of which add them natural depth.

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