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Shopping and Recreation Centre "Girstupis"

Kaunas, Lithuania
1 of 18

The design of the public centre began in 1966. The buildings were created as two independent units - the Girstupis shopping centre and the recreation complex. The two buildings forming an irregular L shape were decided to be connected by a one-story library area.

Reinforced concrete 24×6 step structures were used for the first time, which made it possible to avoid dividing the additional space with columns in the shopping halls. Light and warm tones prevailed in the interior, granite plaster was used for decoration and terrazzo mosaics for the floor, and electric lights were set in copper lamps. On the first floor, there was a spacious vestibule with shops arranged to the sides. Warehouses and refrigerators were installed in the basement. The shopping centre had a bookstore and a pharmacy.

The recreation complex had a swimming pool and also was equipped with a 600-seat theatre hall with a revolving stage. The representative lobby of the palace is reflected as a classic covered atrium - the closed courtyard is lit with natural daylight. The interior of the theatre hall is quite moderate - the walls are panelled with dark oak boards and a suspended ceiling is installed, which improves the acoustics of the hall.

As is typical of public buildings of the period, the entrance to the "Gristupis" is decorated with the sculpture "Peace" by the famous Lithuanian sculptor Juozas Mikenas. The main lobby of the palace is decorated with the stained-glass window "Motherland" (by Algimantas Stoskaus and Antanas Garbauskas, 1967) which is still found there.

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