Daniel Libeskind has unveiled plans for a new 3,100m² gallery for modern Lithuanian art in Vilnius
Planned to complete in 2019, the proposed Modern Art Center (MAC) will host work by Lithuanian artists from the 1960s to the present day.
Located on a prominent site connecting Vilnius’ walled city and its eighteenth century grid, the building comprises two intertwined volumetric forms inspired by ancient city gates.
Libeskind’s rectilinear design – clad in white concrete – will feature a new public piazza, courtyard and roof terrace.
The museum will also include a 1,000m² exhibition space, café, bookshop, education area, auditorium, storage facilities and offices.
First mentioned in the early fourteenth century, Vilnius is home to many historic buildings reflecting centuries of Jewish, Polish and Russian influence and its old town was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.
Libeskind said: ‘The MAC not only creates a home for this extraordinary collection, but the design connects the galleries to the street and the urban fabric—giving the citizens of Vilnius a new cultural centre infused with public space.’
Museum co-founder Viktoras Butkus said: ‘We wanted to create a museum for the people of Lithuania, and also give this collection a home and an international audience. This collection is about the cultural legacy of the country.
‘Libeskind’s work is expressive, innovative, and, most importantly, has the power to tell the story of the past while connecting to the future of the city.’
Founded by Butkus and Danguole Butkiene in 2009, the MAC’s collections represent 226 artists and include a large number of artworks which had been deemed ‘ideologically unacceptable’ during the Soviet era.
Construction is expected to start on site in 2017.