Daniel Libeskind unveils vision for angular art museum in Lithuania

by Kim Megson | 25 Nov 2015

A new home for Lithuania’s modern and contemporary art has been designed by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind for the city of Vilnius.

Studio Libeskind has worked with local firm Do Architects to design the 3,100sq m (33,300sq ft) white cuboid structure, which will house more than 4,000 Lithuanian art works collected by the country’s Modern Art Center (MAC).

“This is about the cultural legacy of the country,” said MAC founder Viktoras Butkus. “We wanted to create a museum for the people of Lithuania.

“Libeskind’s work is expressive, innovative, and, most importantly, has the power to tell the story of the past while connecting to the future of the city.”

The design for the building references local architecture both in form and materials, such as the distinctive white concrete cladding.

Other design decisions are more contemporary. Angular sections have been removed from the cuboid structure to create space for a slanted roof garden, which is connected by a vast staircase to a new piazza at street-level.

“The design connects the galleries to the street and the urban fabric — giving the citizens of Vilnius a new cultural centre infused with public space,” said Libeskind.

Inside, the museum will have 1,000sq m (10,700sq ft) of exhibition space dedicated to both permanent and temporary exhibitions of Lithuanian paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, photography and video works – many of which were neglected during the Soviet period after being deemed ideologically unacceptable.

A café, bookstore, educational area and auditorium will also feature, with floor-to-ceiling glazing flooding all the interiors with natural light.

Construction is set to begin in 2017 and completion is slated for early 2019. A budget for the project has not yet been revealed.

It has been a busy year for Studio Libeskind. They have revealed designs for a pyramid-shaped mixed-use skyscraper in Jerusalem, exhibited a shimmering dragon pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015 and been named as an architect on a new €1.5bn (US$1.7bn, £1.1bn) sports, entertainment and commercial district being developed by Italian football club AS Roma.

The company is currently working on another project in Vilnius – a ski hill and entertainment resort which will be a “multi-purpose destination for the whole of Europe.”

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A new home for Lithuania’s modern and contemporary art has been designed by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind for the city of Vilnius. Studio Libeskind has worked with local firm Do Architects to design the 3,100sq m (33,300sq ft) white cuboid structure, which will house more than 4,000 Lithuanian art works collected by the country’s Modern Art Center (MAC). “This is about the cultural legacy of the country,” said MAC founder
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The MAC wants to create a museum for the people of Lithuania / Studio Libeskind
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