ST. JOKŪBAS QUARTER
Competition entry for St. Jokūbas quarter in Vilnius
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VALUE IDEA, PRINCIPLES
The value axis of the project – dialogue of the eras and open-mindedness. We create an open contemporary object that respects the ambience of adjacent historic buildings. [Surely, the dialogue is polite enough, when the „interlocuter“ - is a spectacular Baroque church]. Once the project is completed, three distinctive eras will meet here, each speaking the unique language of its' time. However, we are keeping the principle of avoiding historicism or replicas – the future complex has to unfold in contemporary architectural language and step along with today's urban, social and even economic actualities.
URBAN IDEA – SITE DEVELOPMENT
The formation of the site is being imposed by the idea if the building “equals” a public space. Since the quarter is reach in heritage objects that in turn are expected to be opened to the public, a new building structure is being designed with certain voids. Not only will they offer the best views of the significant observation sports, but also will invite to enter inside the complex. The semi-perimeter building is being proposed and the new, inner yard-forming volume, will echo the orientation of the former building.
Since the two directions of Goštautas street meet here, the site is both - interesting and complicated. The new building volumes are meant to „bind“ both directions and tie up otherwise crumbling street elevation. Due to the curve of the street and placement of the buildings, architectural volumes are being „stepped“ down towards the river, thus completing the rhythm of the overall street elevation.
It was decided to make the connection between the first and second units of the Lyceum [former hospital] not above, but below ground, thus exhibiting valuable views.
Consistently towards the river descending terrain is being restored, existing sudden level differences are eliminated.
Whilst creating the building structure, two public spaces – inner and outer, were designed. This subsequently corresponds with the aforementioned concept of great and small Vilnius. These public spaces blend together creating transitional paths between the building units.
The outer public space overlooking the river, It is more active and open.
Inner public space is rather secluded and tranquil - it is an inner yard, where you can observe the most spectacular views of Heritage objects. A green park- like garden is designed here.
An architectural idea is laconic and based on the principle of integrity. Most importantly - scale and proportions.
All volumes of the buildings are of rectangular plan, gable roof. Proportion and orientation of the architectural volumes are based on the dimensions and directions of the buildings in the complex.
The upper altitude of the buildings does not exceed the height of the monastery building, and the height of the cornices is chosen according to the cornices of existing buildings.
Due to the sensitivity of the surrounding environment, the display glass windows are avoided. The proportions of the windows of the buildings were chosen not only for functional but also for aesthetic reasons. The windows are shaped like small bay windows, so the shadows fall not on the inside of the window, but on the facade. In this manner the proportions of old and new building's windows meet, whilst their architectural expression remains distinct. Important architectural elements are the vertical volumes on the roofs of the building bodies. The windows rising up resemble a dialogue with steeples of the Church of St. Philip and St. Jacob. Another important architectural motif is the arch. It is not just some interpretation of the Baroque element or the entrance to the Lyceum courtyard. It is worth emphasizing - both the east and west buildings have their own arches.