PROJECT: Science Island

LOCATION: Kaunas – Lithuania

YEAR: 2016

SIZE: 14.250 m2

PROGRAM: New National Science and Innovation Centre of Lithuania in Kaunas

STATUS: Competition

CLIENT: Kaunas City Municipality

TEAM: Jorge Castelão, Filipa Castelão, Catarina Crespo and Diego Sequeira

ESSENTIAL: Located on Nemuno Island, the new Science Centre, appears as a carved element, twisted by the wind and water, like a twisted root, basing the nature and technology to mix, between local identity, art and culture.

 

We envision this new center as a place of great importance for the city, recognizing its position as a landmark building and as a dramatic public area that incorporates an integration of human, technology, art and the city’s identity synergistically blending with the surrounding nature, pushing Kaunas in the desired direction, growing rapidly as a center of innovation and new thinking.

Located on Nemuno Island, the National Science and Innovation Centre of Lithuania – Science Island appears as an element carved and twisted by the wind and spring water, like a twisted root, putting together nature and technology with the local identity, art and culture. The building acts as a natural energy source, which rises from the earth and mixes in a magical twirl the island, its roots and the desired progress and innovation.

The choice of location is the result of the island’s confluences in which we think it is necessary to create a new pole of attraction on the opposite side of the existing Žalgiris Arena. The central link between the two sides takes into account the future pedestrian bridge coming from the congress center and the north existing footbridge.

The route starts crossing the bridge of Mickeviciaus g. where the winding object wrapped on the Island begins to stand out in the green nebula.

To reduce the large volume, the architectural form is a continuation of the natural environment, gradually turning into landscape. The curvilinear façade smooths the building limits and controls all these forces of torsion and rotation.

Upon arrival, people are welcomed in a large public square that leads to exploration paths carved on the façade of the building and upsurge like we were climbing the local topography. This approach emphasizes the interaction and participation of the public with the building.

On top of the entrance ramp the visitor is at the center of the action and discovers a space opened to the exterior, presenting viewpoints towards the historic center of Kaunas and the beauty of the green island.

When entering the entrance hall, visitors are greeted with simple opulence of natural light that comes from the crystal coverage and from the great walls of transparent glass encrusted on the lobby, visually connecting the curvilinear interior with the exterior facade. A large ramp that connects the public areas becomes the main role actor of the Museum.

Like the rest of the building, the galleries reveal an organic architecture, presenting themselves as a flexible movement along the various exhibition spaces. The staff areas are clearly separated from public areas, as well as the respective circulations.

Constructively speaking, the building is a mixed structure of reinforced concrete and iron, lined with stone, aluminum sandwich, glass and vegetation. At the Architecture level, the building is structured to accommodate the various necessary technical facilities.