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Residential house in Kaunas
Architects: Architectural Bureau G.Natkevicius & Partners
Year: 2021
Area: 325 m2
Location: Kiškių g. 20G, 45374 Kaunas, Litauen

The plot is located on the slope of the Nemunas Valley river. Historically, it once happened that the Nemunas River was dammed, so the valley below remained, and the Kaunas Lagoon was formed nearby. The place is interesting cause on the other side, on the opposite bank of the valley there is a baroque complex of Pažaislis Monastery, which cannot be seen directly through the overgrown trees during the summer, but when the leaves fall, it is that tete-a-tete glimpse. Sometimes the places have a historical context, sometimes a natural one, and here, in addition to everything else, the place also have a very interesting certain moral, not real context, because it is only from stories, it is supposed, we can only say that there is a connection between this place and Pažaislis Monastery. 

The plot is unique in that point, that after other plots were located around the perimeter and on the edges of the valley, this plot seemed to remain in the middle. The plot is large, has a small exit to the slope, from which you can see Pažaislis Monastery. The architects were faced with the task of whether functionally to try to build that house completely next to the slope, or to build it where there is a lot of empty space, pulling the building to the middle of the plot. 

When moving the building to the middle of the plot, the architects had a great opportunity for creative space, but they wanted to preserve the large, beautiful linden trees that once lined the street, so a decision was made to insert the house between the slope and the linden avenue. Behind the building, a large plot of land remained empty in the center, resulting some disproportion, but this led to the idea of building the house next to the slope, in order to maintain that intangible connection with the monastery and a certain part of history, preserving that old linden avenue that once marked the streets on the slope contour. The architects had to figure out how to insert the house between the slope and the avenue of linden trees, so exactly this row of linden trees determined a certain configuration of the house. The house is curled, it looks like a staircase has been laid, which is rounded so that the house wouldn’t be so aggressive, that would be soft, that the gaze would slide through it. The lindens growing next to it seem to echo this gradation.

As the decision was made to build the house between the slope and the alley, which runs diagonally, the volumes of the building had to be built according to the same principle. On that side of the house, which marks the linden avenue, all common rooms are located - windows, corridors, main entrance hall, staircase, this creates a little intimacy when moving inside, and all living rooms, all main spaces look at the valley.

Photos by Lina Adi