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House of Pulk. Dr. L. Janulionis

Panemune, Lithuania
A. Smetonos al. 11-FOMA-3 Large.jpeg
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By Monika Pociūtė, 2023.

The largest concentration of health "hotbeds" in interwar Lithuania was around the capital. This was probably due to the general 'cleanliness policy' factors generated by the municipal government and to foreign examples of the culture of relaxation and hygiene as a prerequisite for the formation of a modern, western lifestyle, such as 'In England, the noisier classes go out of town on Friday evening and return to the city on Tuesday morning. Thus they spend four nights a week in the countryside, in the fresh air. (...) Kaunas residents have particularly comfortable conditions for hygienic living." In 1919, the Lithuanian Narrow Gauge Railway Board provided several districts of Kaunas with narrow gauge trains, including Aukšta Panemunė (with the J. Basanavičius' shilo near the village of Vičiūnai), which became part of the city in 1931. With the improvement of transport links, A. Panemunė gradually turned into an oasis of respite for the capital's inhabitants in the early 1930s: "it is the most beautiful, healthiest and most comfortable place of all in the area, (...) especially pleasant for us Šančiškės, who have emerged from the dusty hell of the middle."At that time, not only were the first medical institutions established but also the construction of more holiday homes was planned. More luxurious villas and residential houses began to be built by the more affluent inhabitants of A. Panemunė and the capital city in the newly planned Gailutė, Vaidilos, Upėlio streets and A. Smetona Avenue, in front of the Nemunas. One of the more interesting buildings on this avenue, which combines both modern thought and local tradition, is the wooden dwelling house of Colonel Doctor L. Janulionis.

Designed by engineer Antanas Gruodis and built in 1937, the building is characterised by hints of modernism, with a semi-circular terrace on the façade facing Smetona Avenue, a balcony above it, a circular window in the gable, and doors divided into vertical elements on both the balcony and the ground floor. Although the volume of the building is close to that of a farmhouse, the playful incorporation of windows and the spacious terrace create a sense of lightness, especially in the interior spaces, which receive more light. In Janulionis' house, the rooms are freely planned. The spaces are divided into functional areas, such as lounge, work, dining and utility areas. In addition to the building, a storage room has been designed in the house area, while the rest of the plot has been landscaped in a "resort-like" way, leaving space for a garden.

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