The multifunctional complex is located in the historical center of Vilnius, Lithuania on the crossroads formed by V.Kudrikos street and major Gediminas Avenue. The built-up area is situated across the Embassy of Spain and the Lukiskes Square which is the largest square (4 hectares) in the city.
The multifunctional complex appears to be an important element of the urban environment structure. After reviewing the visual axes, the interrelations between the surrounding vertical dominants and the foot traffic schemes we have discovered some challenges regarding the site. The crossroads formed by V.Kudrikos and Gediminas streets did not have any elements to close the architectural ensemble.
So the main task of the project is to create a new city block with full range of functions which correspond to modern views on comfort in urban environment. Well planned coordination and integration of residential, recreational and commercial spaces around public pedestrian zone are based on the “living space” principle of the town. It allows people of various ages and social origin to share the city space during a day and thus animate and fill it with life.
The distribution of the complex functions is based upon the current pedestrians’ connections which we’ve carefully studied and wanted to preserve. The project changes the quality of city environment in principle by saving pedestrians from routine necessity to walk round the new building, keeping them in their habitual way of life and forming positive attitude towards the new construction. Thus this project uses maximum of communicational capacity of the location.
The total building area is 28500 squared meters. Our experience in designing mixed use buildings highlights two key factors: a stronger focus on user experience and atmosphere, and the colocation of allied or complementary services and facilities. When successful, mixed use developments establish an identity for a place through architecture. So the objective was to develop a structure which combines the interests of fundamentally different users and different recreation formats. The functions are office, hotel, retail, restaurants, apartments, gym, terraces, parking.
The main architectural idea is that all public spaces are adapted for the city residents, so the complex benefits not only its users but also all the citizens. The building space is the so-called urban sculpture where anyone may use underground levels, walkable roofs, porches and other sightseeing platforms linked by crossway connections and other communication features.
Working on the hotel architecture we’ve taken into account the rooms insolation regime. As a result we have got a stepped building model which forms a gallery-type structure with a courtyard and walkable roofs.
The multifunctional purposes made us divide the building into two parts. One part hosts offices and a retail function. The other part of the complex holds Hilton Garden Inn **** hotel. These two parts are designed to guide the movement of the visitors inside the building. The composition of the complex also included the place of the existing trees of the site which found themselves in the inner green courtyard. As it is divided into two volumes – each slightly shifted in relation to the other – the ensemble appears small despite its functions. This creates a building in harmony with the surrounding landscape.
The basic motifs and facade materials support the idea of integration into the urban fabric. Soft transformation of the Vilnius architecture into fresh, light and highly functional modern reality was also the essential part of our idea. We can see the transition of the texture of facades over the panoramic glass to the polished concrete. We wanted the complex to be meticulously blended into the surrounding structure, so the color scheme is identical to the plaster of the surrounded historic buildings. This was an intentional step in time and in space, reflecting changes in local moods: from monumental history to modern simplicity.
In a beautiful historical area, surrounded by low-rise housing, the multifunctional centre is designed as the social heart for the community. It is a place for everyone; a place to meet for shopping and dining, for business and accomodation – a multifunctional center where you can find a good balance between the power of the collective and individual expression.
Architectural composition of the building was dictated by clear understanding of complexity of the architectural context which surrounds the site and also of its priority significance. There are many things which predestinated the general restraint and elegant simplicity in the choice of means of the architectural aesthetics.
Due to the panoramic windows the building becomes more transparent, while the wood vertical blinds allows office employees have the light control and also influence over the external aesthetics of the building therefore being a part of a city.
The office unit is located closer to the busy highway, while the hotel zone is located in the depth of the built-up site. Both blocks are linked by the arch at the level of the storeys 5 and 6 via Dainavos street. A beautiful and light arch serves as an inviting gateway for visitors to all the complex’ functions.
Having identified the most active pedestrian connections between the V.Kudrikos and Gedeminas Avenue, we’ve arranged an urban plaza with the amphitheatre and a free access to the commercial and entertainment areas at -1 storey. Instead of placing the commercial spaces here, we’ve paid attention to the core idea of public function and put the retail on the level -1 where the the flows of people are directed from the plaza. Via the shopping mall everyone is able to get to the restaurant zone (located under the hotel) and to the recreation area inside.
Concerning about people, we’ve also taken into consideration the soundproofing aspect. In order to provide some noise attenuation, the dining function is lowered to the -1 level, so that the nearby slope becomes a noise barrier between the recreation area and the apartment building nearby. There is the accessible roof area, where anyone can get via the 3d floor. It is greened and partly designed as a roof terrace.
We’ve also designed the small architectural forms with the lighting which underline the building geometry and rhythm.
Maria Nikolaeva, Alexander Baymiev, Evgeny Fomchenkov, Kristina Koivistoinen-Khatlamadzhiyan
PROFESSIONAL COMPETITION, PUBLIC BUILDINGS, Season 2019/20, Победители