KAUNAS TOWN HALL SQUARE

COMPETITION PROJECT

Team

R. Palekas, S. Šlepikaite, R. Jasaitė, V. Lingė

Year

2013

Tikslas

The aim of this work is to offer both a functional and a compositional arrangement of the square scheme.
We chose the principle of a regular network, which can be compared with the planning of Kaunas, where the Silesian module (strip or rope) was used in 1540s.

Composition

By using shape of circle we aim to make composite connection with the Town Hall surrounding paving and its character of the laying of stone.
There are two parts of the composition: 1) irregular structure of existing trees; 2) regular design of the square paving. All other smaller elements obey these two structures.

Scenarios

The new system provides unlimited possibilities for filling the circles with any program (lawn, terrace, water, ice, pavilion, benches, tables, a tree, a playground, a scene, a helicopter landing ground, etc.). Diameter of one circle is 14 m, area – 154 m2, maximum capacity: 150 seating, 450 standing, 25 four-seater tables.

Functionality

Daily feature

We restrict the movement of vehicles on the northern and eastern side of the square: only servicing is left – as it takes place on Vilnius St. In this way, outdoor cafes expand their limits without losing connection with the interior. At the southern edge of the square, we are designing some new stationary pavilions that balance visitors’ interests on the boundary of the square, shield from the noise of cars and the view of the parking lot.

Representation festive function

Formal and festive corteges are directed around the perimeter of the old paving surrounding the Town Hall. During traditional festive fairs, temporary pavilions cover the most important part of the square through a regular network. During a mass event, the scene or screen is located in the usual place on the south side of the square.

Boundaries

We design the regular paving scheme between the streets surrounding the Town Hall Square: the edge of the square near the buildings – the stone surface – we treat as a valuable part of the Old Town and we suggest that it should be done by using relevant principles.

Materials and means

The new regular surface consists of two elements: the controlling network (tetragonal stars) and its filler (circles). The border between these elements is the shining edge of the circle. For the controlling network (for the stars) we offer a cold hard solid surface – sheet metal. For circles we use warmer inviting surfaces of different patterns, mostly scratched, pressed, inlaid concrete, sometimes replaced by lawn, wood, water.
Some of the circles are filled with items of the street furniture – benches or pavilions (tearoom, exposition, souvenirs, etc.). The illumination of the square is created by irregularly arranged lamps on vertical supports between the trees.