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House of Political Education

Kaunas, Lithuania
1 of 12
politinio svietimo namai

The period between the 1960s and 1980s was one of the most intense in the architecture and development of Kaunas, the city expanded significantly territorially, and intensive industrialized construction took place, during which standardized and unified residential buildings or their complexes were mostly built. However, this period also saw the rise of valuable buildings that retain the architectural postmodernist spirit of their time. One of them is an object for public political education in the city centre.

At the beginning of the 1970s, architect B. Zabulionis had the difficult task of designing the House of Political Education. The building had to compositionally complete the southeast corner of Union Square and maintain the volumetric spatial unity of the ensemble. In terms of architectural expression and stylistic features, this project is quite clearly different from other buildings found near thety Square. The architectural expression of the building is based on the play of facade planes, ingenious composition of simple forms, and all this is adapted to the functional purpose of the structure. in 1974 the completed building consisted of three main areas: a 770-seat hall with a lobby, a 270-seat meeting hall, a library, and auditoriums - these are the largest facilities and are connected by a transitional block.There are some sculptural decorations too. A kind of rhythmic transition from heavy planes (concrete walls) to light ones (window openings, windowsills, dolomite slab decoration) is noticeable. The volume of the great hall is clearly emphasized - it is recessed deep into the square. It can be said that the architectural composition of the building in most cases corresponds to the principles of free planning of Le Corbusier.

Unfortunately, we still live in a time when the architecture of the Soviet period is not properly valued. Many buildings of this period lose their authentic interior and exterior details or are simply demolished. Therefore, the building currently owned by Vytautas the Great University seems to be a good example of envy, how the architecture of that period can renew itself and survive today.

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