Interwar Architectural Heritage in Vilnius [en]

„Gatvės gyvos“ in partnership with Polish Institute in Vilnius has initiated a project „Interwar Vilnius: Mapping Multicultural Architecture“. This international workshop, held together with the studens of Jagiellonian University (Krakow), intended to develop Lithuanian – Polish cooperation regarding historical memory and researched architectural heritage in interwar Vilnius. Some of the collected information was presented during an open guided tour in Gediminas avenue. This tour will be held again, thus we invite you to follow the information. However, not all the objects of the interwar period could be included into the tour. Thus, below you will find some additional information that was prepared during the workshop. We invite you to discover specific interwar style!

Antakalnis Terraced Houses, Kosciuškos-Olandų-Dobužinskio g.

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The complex terraced houses in Antakalnis is another example of imaginative variations closed in functionalist forms. Its construction was probably based on a design by Polish Modernist architect – F. Wojciechowski.

The settlement contains 25 two-storey terraced houses, which are grouped in twos, in mirror – like symmetry, and they are placed in short rows on the edge of a square reminding a trapezoid. Buildings are located horizontally and vertically and in that way form a star-shaped and dynamic line of flat roofs and facades. Most of terraced houses are built on a plan of a rectangle. However, two semi-detached houses at the end have a butterfly-shaped plan.

An interior of a block, with the economic road, includes garden and greenness separating sides of a trapezoid. A simplicity of buildings with plain plaster elevations seems to be overcomed through tubular railings of corner balconies. The architecture of some houses was changed during the Interwar period and the whole complex was renovated in 1985.

Antakalnis Middle School, Antakalnio 29

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The huge building was consisted of two parts. First side existed as a primary school for boys. It was named after the Polish general Lucjan Żeligowski. The second part of Antakalnis Middle School contained a primary school for girls, named after poet Władysław Syrokomla.Two identical parts of Antakalnis Middle School are maintained in modernist, neoclassical shape. The whole structure is symmetrical, as many buildings then. This modernist trend established a turning point in thinking about developing art in architecture.

The whole edifice was planned by Polish architect Stefan Narębski in 1930. This person shouldn’t be known only because of his project of Antakalnis School. After studies he came back to Lithuania and took an executive post as a main city architect. Stefan Narębski performed this duty till the outbreak of The Second World War.

In the following years he restored the Archbishop’s Palace, he carried out the renovation of The Town Hall and The Presidential Palace- among his other projects.

Liepkalnis Middle School, Liepkalnio 18

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The building of this Middle School was one of  the most modern in Vilnius during interwar period. The building is consisted of three wings, each of them are three storied. It forms U-shaped yard, as in Antakalnis School. The facade is composed by rectangular windows in different size. Important is, how the school is decorated. The outward walls are made from roughly hewn stone. The other walls had yellow ceramic tiles and red bricks. This building is one of the most prominent edifice maintained in Functionalism style interwar period.

The whole complex was designed by two Polish valuable architects: Romuald Gutt and Stanisław Bukowski. The first one was born in Warsaw and was one of the most important, revolutionary modern architects in Poland. That’s why he made a project of Middle School in Vilnius using his style. Before the Second World War he made a project of renovating Józef Piłsudski’s house and park in Zułowo (Zalavas, village near Švenčionys). Gutt’s friend, StanisławBukowski, was also his assistant in Vilnius. He design many public buildings and worked by renovation of monuments there. Bukowski met in Vilnius his future wife, that’s why not only his work was connected with his city. After outbreak of World War II he stayed in Vilnius leading normal life, also as an architect. He became a head of Vilnius branch companies of a Planning Design and the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. He designed for example sport stadium, elaborated project of mausoleum in Vilnius Cathedral.