Simona Čižikaitė, Rasa Biveinytė, Simona Balvočiūtė, 2013-04-29
Wooden villa in Kaunas, Žaliakalnis

In brief: The tradition of wooden architecture is rather pronounced in many Lithuanian towns, to which suburbs full of wooden houses were attached. Now these suburbs have turned into unique quarters. Such examples may be found in Vilnius (Žvėrynas, Markučiai, Šnipiškės, Antakalnis), Kaunas (Vilijampolė, Panemunė, Žemieji Šančiai, Žaliakalnis); Druskininkai, Klaipėda and other resort towns stand out by original masterpieces of wooden architecture.

The importance of wooden architecture of towns and its strong position reflects in the abundance of types of wooden buildings and their clear localisation in separate zones of towns. Moreover, different types of buildings have different stylistic expression: details of décor, planning and repetition of professional architectural styles. A wide typology and stylistic diversity of wooden houses only testifies the fact that wooden architecture of Lithuanian towns is an original and characteristic phenomenon that is of great importance to the local culture and urban planning of a town and entire country.

One of the best examples of use of wooden constructions is the sports hall in Marijampolė – arches of plywood was used for its construction. Still, more often wood is only used as an accent, detail in the exterior and interior of a contemporary building. Wood as decoration is used in the building of Mega shopping centre in Kaunas, in the central building of Swedbank in Vilnius.

A group of scientists and volunteers is working at Vytautas Magnus University, it contributes intensively to the accumulation of visual and documentary material about the vanishing Kaunas wooden architecture. The database Archimedė is published on the internet at A scientific practical event “Ideas of Survival of “Green” Wooden Architecture” was organised recently at Vytautas Magnus University by scientists and Master students of VMU Arts Faculty. The participants of the event were admirers of wooden architecture, some well-known Kaunas architects, representatives of the Ministry of Culture of RL, Kaunas City Municipality and employees of the Cultural Heritage Department, Kaunas Territorial Branch. Several reports and presentations were included into the programme.

The aim of this event was to turn attention of the public to the importance of wooden architecture and to represent it as unique architecture that is abundant in Baltic and Scandinavian countries today. One more important accent of the meeting was to rally the community that takes care of wooden heritage and to encourage it to communicate more intensively, to exchange good ideas and to share good advice in order to preserve a bigger number of diverse wooden buildings.

In the conversations of the Master students of VMU, Arts Faculty, with Kaunas architects Doc. J.R.Palys, Doc. Ž.Paškūnas, K.Balčiūnaitė, M.Maziliauskas, B.Jankauskaitė and V.Beigienė, the attitude of specialists, who form the face of the city, to wooden architecture of Kaunas and its preservation was revealed.

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