An open international contest has been announced for a landmark new central public library and community centre in historic Klaipėda, Lithuania
Organised by the Lithuanian Architects Union – the competition seeks proposals for a new 2,800m² library with capacity for up to 1,000 daily visitors and space for up to 150,000 items of scientific, fictional, cultural and children’s literature along with periodicals, films and audio.
The project, backed by Klaipėda City Municipality, will transform an undeveloped 7,090m² plot on Statybininkų Street in the southern part of the coastal city overlooking the Baltic Sea.
According to the brief: ‘The new building will be the central public library of Klaipėda city municipality. The architecture of the new library should be perceived as an important public object to the city and produce a positive impact on the image and liveliness on the surrounding mass construction residential districts.
‘The goal of the new library is to strengthen and expand its role as a meeting and communication place for the residents of Klaipėda. The public library should become a safe, non-commercial space for self-education, creativity, leisure, communication, and work. Visitors should come here in search of knowledge, entertainment or simply led by a sense of community spirit to discuss, listen, or to have some quiet time.’
Lithuania is the most southern of the three Baltic States and home to a large number parks, forests and lakes along with a 90km shoreline. The provincial town of Klaipėda was transformed into a major tourist destination after King Friedrich Wilhelm III and Queen Louise fled to the area in response to Bonaparte’s invasion of Prussia.
As the Eastern Baltic’s foremost ice-free port, Klaipėda was rapidly enlarged and transformed into a major fishing and marine base during the Soviet occupation of the country in the second half of the 20th century.
Today the city is a popular destination for cruise ships and home to around 150,000 people. The latest competition will transform a large plot in the southern part of the city which is dominated by large numbers of post-war housing blocks.
The new building will feature leisure, communication and meeting spaces for local residents.
Judges include the head of architecture at Klaipėda City Municipality Almantas Mureika; Saulius Juškys, architect and associate professor of Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts; and Donaldas Trainauskas of 4PLIUS Architecture Studio.
The overall winner, due to be announced in late June, will receive £6,150, and there will also be a second prize of £4,400, third prize of £2,600 and fourth prize of £880.
The deadline for applications is 2pm GMT, 4 June.
How to apply
Klaipėda City Municipality Administration
Liepu g. 11
Tel: +370 46396104
Fax: +370 46396178