Kamane.lt, 2010 07 16


S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport in Kaunas. Photo from the archive of kaunodiena.lt

In brief: Strive for things which seem impossibletoday and you will achieve what will appear real tomorrow: this is how the creative courage of participants of the young architects plein-air, which was organised in the old Aleksotas airport in Kaunas at the end of June, could be described.

The members of Kaunas Architecture and City Planning Council (KAUET), who held a meeting in Aleksotas, S. Darius and S.Girėnas airport on the 1st of July, discussed enthusiastically and evaluated the creative projects prepared by young architects in S. Darius and S.Girėnas airport plein-air, i.e. future visions of the old airport.

According to the architect R.Palys, “the biggest achievement is that young architects realised the importance of the airport, its semantic and historical significance well“.

Not only professionals of architecture and city planning but also representatives of the city authorities and business got acquainted with bold and sometimes utopian or shocking offers of young architects how the old Aleksotas airport could be adapted for the needs of a modern city of the 21st century.

Later the exhibition of the plein-air participants’ projects was moved to Kaunas Architects’ House, where the public and possible implementers of ideas, investors, could see the youthful ideas of rebirth of S. Darius and S.Girėnas airport.

Participants of KAUET meeting: architects Augustas Audėjaitis, Gaustas Eigirdas, Dovilė Martinaitytė, Kasparas Praninskas,Vytautas Butkus, Giedrius Račiūnas, Indrė Vainauskaitė, Erika Strikaitytė, Mažvydas Zajankauskas, Rūta Greičiūtė, Marius Ščerbinskas, Justas Prikockis, Mindaugas Butvila, Vaidotas Kaluškevičius, Kęstas Vaikšnoras, Paulius Vaitiekūnas, Petras Vilutis, Lilija Putnienė, Vytautas Putna, Ramūnas Grubinskas, Laura Amankavičiūtė, Martynas Radzevičius, Guoda Bardauskaitė.

Project authors: students Aurelijus Sūdžius, Ieva Maknickaitė, Aistė Galaunytė, Vytenis Raugala, Andrius Ropolas, Šarūnė Bagdonaitė, Rita Tamulevičiūtė, Ieva Kuliešiūtė, Dominykas Maurušaitis, Viktorija Rybakova, Aida Išganaitytė, Kostas Biliūnas, Monika Kazakauskaitė, Irmantas Vienažindis.            

KAUET members: Gintaras Balčytis, Evaldas Barzdžiukas, Gražina Bernotienė, Neringa Blaževičienė, Jurgis Bučas, Saulius Juškys, Jolita Kančienė, Vygintas Merkevičius, Rimvydas Palys, Gintaras Prikockis, Ramūnas Raslavičius, Vladas Stauskas, Dalius Šarakauskas, Linas Tuleikis, director of KAUET Jūratė Merkevičienė.

Other participants: Kaunas mayor Audrius Kupčinskas, Kaunas vice-mayor Rimantas Mikaitis, chief specialist of the Culture Heritage Department, Kaunas Territorial Branch Loreta Janušaitienė, director of S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport E.Raunickas, employee of the airport Gražina Petrėnienė, elder of Aleksotas Liukrecija Navickienė, chief specialist of Aleksotas eldership Algirdas Guiga, architect of Aleksotas eldership Juozas Poniškaitis, executive secretary of Kaunas Architects' Union Snieguolė Surblienė.

Press representatives: Vereta Rupeikaitė (Kauno Diena), Jūratė Anilionytė (LRT).

7 teams presented their projects for KAUET experts.

Team 1 with the motto KABOOM. Architects:Augustas Audėjaitis, Gaustas Eigirdas, Dovilė Martinaitytė, Kasparas Praninskas, student Aurelijus Sūdžius.

G.Eigirdas (KABOOM): In our eyes, the biggest problem is the lack of connection between the airport and the city. We offer to form access roads from the northern side, a promenade – viewing road for pedestrians and cyclists between the old town, centre and airport. We offer to locate planes on the left side and recreational area on the right side.

Team2 with the motto 10LT”. Architects:Vytautas Butkus, Giedrius Račiūnas, Indrė Vainauskaitė. Students: Ieva Maknickaitė, Aistė Galaunytė, Vytenis Raugala.

V.Butkus(“10LT”): The airport has rich history: Lithuanian aviation was born and flourished here. We offer to preserve the airport, its function and to create conditions for further development of aviation here. As the airport is not far from the city centre, we noticed the connection: city centre > Aleksotas Bridge > funicular > panorama. Two main zones have been formed in our offer: the infrastructure of the airport and the public space, i.e. museums, cafes, administration, etc.

The runways should remain the same: 1 asphalt and 3 tabby runways. The exposition of the Aviation Museum should be expanded, an educational centre should be established for “minor” aviation. 3 historical buildings (2 hangars and the administrative building) should be reconstructed with the aim to establish the Lithuanian air club here; the buildings could be used for conferences, events, mini expositions.

Team 3 with the motto “Compromise”. Architects:Erika Strikaitytė, Mažvydas Zajankauskas, Rūta Greičiūtė, Marius Ščerbinskas, Justas Prikockis. Student Andrius Ropolas.

Members of “Compromise” team: Our position was influenced by three sides: aeronauts, Aleksotas community and businessmen.S. Darius and S. Girėnas airport is important to all of them. Therefore, acompromise is necessary for the territory in our opinion. A compromise would be a clear border of a water pond and the bank line, where the community and business representatives would find place for their aims. We also offer an engineering miracle, an aircraft carrier and the runway that could turn according to the direction of the wind.

Third place. "Compromise".

Third place. "Compromise". "Extreme".

Third place. "Compromise". "Turning aircraft carrier"

Third place. "Compromise". Sailing in the airport.

Team 4with the motto “Agrodrome”. Architects: Mindaugas Butvila, Vaidotas Kaluškevičius, Kęstas Vaikšnoras, Paulius Vaitiekūnas. Students: Šarūnė Bagdonaitė, Rita Tamulevičiūtė.

Members of “Agrodrome”: S.Darius and S.Girėnas airport is one of the first in Europe. We want to emphasise this value. Signs and symbols are important. Our idea is based on live to soil: we offer to sow rape in the entire territory, except for the runways, and aeronauts could produce fuel for planes from plants. Other functions should be located at the sides of the territory. We also offer to cut various signs in the field overgrown with rape so that one could read signs when flying.

5th project with the motto “Flight Over History”. Architects: Rimas Adomaitis, Petras Vilutis. Students: Ieva Kuliešiūtė, Dominykas Maurušaitis.

P.Vilutis (“Flight Over History”): It is important for Kaunas to have places of attraction. We would distinguish two zones in the airport. Historical buildings would be reconstructed in the northern part of the territory. An education centre, museum, business, community and children’s air school would function here. The western zone would be used for active recreation (about 10 ha). We offer to construct a parking lot. Exhibitions could be organised in side zones.

Historical buildings in the northern zone, out-door exposition at Veiverių Street would be covered by tents which would remind airplane wings in the plan. In this way the airport would be represented by a sign when looking from the air.

First place. "Flight Over History".

First place. "Flight Over History". Zone of exposition of equipment

First place. "Flight Over History". Expositions of equipment

First place. "Flight Over History". Restored historical buildings

6th project with the motto “Sky”. Architects: Lilija Putnienė, Vytautas Putna, Ramūnas Grubinskas, Laura Amankavičiūtė. Studentės: Viktorija Rybakova, Aida Išganaitytė.

Representative of the team “Sky”: We believe that the territory of the airport is a value. Therefore, we offer to preserve the main runways. A multi-storeyed automobile garage could be constructed in the eastern part, and helicopters could land on its roof. We plan to expand the museum in the zone of Veiverių Street. We offer to construct a hotel, restaurant and shop in the former terminal. Flights coordination centre and hangars would be located in the southern part. We also offer to use the railway line and to continue it to the funicular.

7th team with the motto “Therapy of Engines”. Architects: Martynas Radzevičius, Guoda Bardauskaitė, Gintaras Duoba. Students: Kostas Biliūnas, Monika Kazakauskaitė, Irmantas Vienažindis.

M. Radzevičius and G. Bardauskaitė (“Therapy of Engines”): In our opinion, the best way to preserve heritage is to use it. We offer to improve the communication: restore the railway branch to the northern part of the airport, design bicycle roads connecting the airport with Aleksotas bicycle road system. Transatlantic Alley connecting the funicular with the airport is planned for pedestrians and cyclists. Air-camping and platform of planes would be designed in the most beautiful and calm place of the airport, in north western part.

A visual relation of the airport and the city would be created: an aviation museum would be designed at the main entrance to the airport, and it would be marked by an aircraft visible from Veiverių Street. Old hangars and the air station would be reconstructed near S.Darius and S.Girėnas Street.

Motocross and a route for all-terrain vehicles would be constructed in the unused part of the airport. The project was called “Therapy of Engines” as it would be therapy for extreme adventure lovers, therapy for the airfield and therapy for the city searching for identity of unused historical space.

Second place. "Therapy of Engines".

Second place. "Therapy of Engines". Plan of the airport territory

Second place. "Therapy of Engines". Location of action zones

The evaluation results of the projects were announced on the 2nd of July.

The project “Flight Over History” won the first place.

The project “Therapy of Engines” became the winner of the second place.

The third place was won by the authors of the project “Compromise”.

Prepared by Jūratė Merkevičienė

(According to the material of the meeting and voting of KAUET of the 1st of July, 2010)

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