© Norbert Tukaij

Connecting by dividing

architectum edition #31

© Norbert Tukaij

Residential units

in Lithuania

© Norbert Tukaij

Products used

Koramic, Penter, Terca

Connecting by dividing

How can six residential units be designed to form one large entity yet still retain the welcoming look of individual buildings? These seemingly contrary requirements have been reconciled in a condominium project in Lithuania.

An apartment complex in Lithuania

A skyline straight out of a picture book can be found in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, not far from the Vilnia River. Six buildings in vari-coloured brick are situated between the river bank and the old city centre, together forming the Paupys apartment complex. The project designed by the team from Architektūros linija was part of a plan to revitalise the district. The modern residential quarter was erected on a trapezoidal site with an area of 8000 m2 directly adjacent to the town’s main square. 
The architects attached great importance to respecting traditional building principles and blended Paupys harmoniously into the townscape. “The volume of the buildings dwindles as they drop down towards the river bank, creating a gradual transition from the city centre to the river,” explains Architektūros linija.

From large to small

A continuous, five-storey, red-brick façade accented with rectangular loggias leads towards the town centre. The street on the left side of the block and the pedestrian passage on the right side are bordered with more subdued paving that is visually distinct. This prevents the entire complex from appearing to be a monolithic block, yet still ties all parts together. Finally, three separate buildings, each with two or three floors, are situated along the waterfront of the Vilnia river. They provide views into and out of the inner courtyard and so connect the river bank promenade with the residential area. The stairwells can only be accessed from the inner courtyard, which can be entered from all sides through four lockable gates.

Skilled combinations

Red, brown and grey brick façades dominate the design of the entire quarter. The compositions created by windows and balconies of different sizes are picturesque and playful yet clearly structured. The architects combined a variety of details, such as roofing and glazed elements, with the patterns of ceramics. The roof of the tallest building near the city is covered with tiles, while the roofs of the other units are made of galvanised sheet copper. In this way, Paupys consciously invokes the industrial buildings that once stood on this site and that form an important element of the city’s skyline. 

© Norbert Tukaj

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