A unique project presented by Spanish architects won the „Science Island” project

A very important step was taken to fulfilling the unique National Science and Innovation project. This international architectural contest which started in summer, only in a few months’ time received over 145 different ideas from all over the world. This Friday, three of the winning projects were presented at the Nemunas Island. The winner of first place was a brave and unique project presented by the Spanish architects’ bureau “SMAR Architecture Studio” with their colleagues from Australia. The second place winner was the United Kingdom architects’ bureau “SimpsonHaugh and Partners” and the third place prize went to the Chinese company’s “Donghua Chen Studio” project.

Declared Unanimously

The first place winner had an exceptional solution. Above the ground there will be only one mirror flat with a few functions. The rest of the facility will be underground. According to “Malcolm Reading Consultants” Director Mr. Malcolm Reading, who was the Chairman of the Commission of Selection, stated that the members of the Commission voted unanimously. According to him, this project is ideal to the Nemunas Island, it is unique and original. The architect professor Jonas Audėjaitis stated that “This project stood out with its elegance, scenery understanding and outstanding solutions. This building will look great during any time of the day. The first floor zone is open and inviting, presenting science. This is just an idea. As it develops the authors will present more details and substance”. According to him, the goal was not to overcapacitate the island. The Spanish architects took this into context and found a neutral spot on the Island. The main accent is the mirror flat which reflects the sky and, from another view point, – the island’s green meadows. At night time the flat can shine and look as though the moon has landed on the island. Jonas Audėjaitis goes on to state that the mirror flat has another function. It transfers light to the interior which holds the exposition.

Huge interest

The Mayor of Kaunas Visvaldas Matijošaitis said “We received over 145 offers from 44 international companies. Nothing like this ever occurred in Kaunas or in Lithuania. The only continent which didn’t take part in our competition was Antarctica”. Lithuania’s Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius added that as soon as talks about constructing a science center in Lithuania started to circulate, much of the academic elite wanted to see this center in Vilnius. But Kaunas presented a much better and rational project, supported by economical terms. Not everything should be concentrated in the capital. Now it’s time to celebrate what has already been done, and wish that during the celebration of the anniversary of one hundred years of Lithuania’s independence, the center would be opened to the public.

Organizational professionals

The science promotion center project was organized by one of the best companies in the business – “Malcolm Reading Consultants”. The company which resides in London has an impressive 20 years’ experience organizing architectural contests around the world. The international contest was announced in the beginning of June and went on until September.

The “Science Island” architectural contest received over 145 projects from 454 different countries. 30 percent of all projects came from Lithuania, the United States and the United Kingdom. It’s planned that the science promotion center will open by 2018. The preliminary worth of the project at the moment is 23 million Euros.

Information by Public Relations Division

May Kaunas City always remain the symbol of Lithuanian strength. 07/03/98

Former President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus

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