But while Ukrainian balconies may say a lot about those who built them, they also mirror the socio-political changes and the living conditions in the country itself. While more and more skyscrapers are being built in the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, most Ukrainians still live in apartments built in the 1960s. The infrastructure was planned for "Soviet citizens", who worked and ate in their factories. Houses focused on practical living, rather than private comfort. Some lacked a kitchen.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, many Ukrainians became the owners of their apartments for the first time. Throughout the 1990s, they began to truly experiment with renovation for the first time - with balconies getting special attention. By deciding what to do with their private property, Ukrainians started to shape the way their cities look.
Lately, these balconies have become a new focus for urbanists, architects, and artists - including 37-year-old architect and artist, Oleksandr Burlaka. In his latest photo book, Balcony Chic, he documents the most beautiful, strange and innovative balconies in Ukraine: flawlessly combining function and self-expression.
He talked to The Calvert Journal about shaky structures, terraces that double up as pigsties, and why Ukraine may remain the Wild West of balcony building for some time to come.