I’m Alper Kokcu. Join my journey where I am exploring cultures and ideas via the connection of art, nature and architecture.

Vilnius University Library

Vilnius University Library

Today I will bring you to Lithuania and we will check a library.

It was a cold day, no it was a freezing day! We were heading from Lithuania to Latvia. So for a final architectural stop in the capital, we visited the Vilnius University to check its library. It was so cold; Tanya even did not get out of the car.

When I told the library of Vilnius University, I meant the new one. Old one dates way back to 1570, one of the oldest and richest Eastern Europe academic libraries. The existing library in the central old part of the capital has become too small. But the size was not the only issue. Actually the size is never the only issue.

The library became outdated as well comparing to the current methods of teaching and research. Therefore, they decided to build a new one via a project competition.

This was the building I was suffering for. Vilnius University Library, Science and Information Center, designed by Lithuanian architectural studio Paleko. It’s a bit far from center and located close to a pine forest.

Very first thing you mention is three big deformed cubes as the main appearance. That was the architects’ design approach. I’ll use their own words: “We believe that the library should radiate an emotional charge because it is a place of non-material creativity and spirituality. Therefore, we have chosen the scenery of expressively and unpredictably varying silhouettes as the main architectural language.

Well, I like that non-material creativity description. Of course it is hard to find a form or even describe the shape of something non-material. But this probably would not be the usual walls, corridors, flat surfaces thing. Right? Maybe.

These unexpected forms covered with (white or) very light grey terracotta. Despite the different angled surfaces of the facade, the glazing run horizontally all around the blocks. Except the facade facing to the forest, there they are fully glazed to have a visual connection with the nature.

The ground floor with conference hall and cafeteria is the central circulation space and the main gathering area. This was another design approach by architects, who are very well aware of the new lifestyle of ours. With our computers and smart phones, we reach information even without leaving home. For sure, there is a lot missing on social media comparing to real libraries, but this is a fact.

As an alternative to this reality, architects here try to create nice places for communication, meetings and just to get together, to exchange ideas, to touch each other’s minds. Therefore, I liked how these ideas formed this building.

What you think? Do you like libraries in your town? Or just tell me which library anywhere in the world you like most and why? Write me below.

Let’s talk about architecture and thank you for your visiting my website.


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