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“Kalniečiai” Shopping Centre

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By Monika Pociūtė, 2023.

The object standing at the intersection of the streets is like a gateway to the residential micro district and the spacious and rare structure of the complex allowed it to pass through in several directions. The building is interpreted as a small micro-city with an internal arcade, many entrances, many internal level crossings, and stairs. The complex is complemented by sculptural elements. Expressiveness was also achieved with the minimal means available at the time: yellow brick masonry was chosen for the street facades; typical wall panels were connected vertically.

The object looked unusual enough and, after its completion, was often criticized: due to the many elevations and mirror surfaces that made orientation difficult. However, this was precisely the architects' aim - to create a structure reminiscent of the labyrinths of the old town streets. The fate of the building during the period of Independence illustrates the challenges of the functional change of architecture: the internal structure with huge warehouses and the division into smaller commercial units did not meet the requirements for modern commercial buildings. The object has been reconstructed many times and now is demolished.

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