Balsai School, Vilnius, Lithuania

Balsai School, Vilnius, Lithuania

PLAY OF VOLUMES, PLAY OF COLOR

The Balsai School in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, accommodates 600 children. As the surrounding urban fabric has no cohesive urban concept, the new school was intended to give the area an unequivocal focal point. It is also intended to serve a broader function for the wider community after school hours and over weekends.
 

The choice of Swisspearl fiber cement panels for the façade cladding enabled the architects to realise their concept of alternating solids and spaces, thus also reducing the scale and tying the complex into the extensive site. Each volume has a different articulation of coloured panels – blue-grey, yellow-grey, red-grey − that echoes the “positive versus negative” concept and simultaneously gives each structure its own identity. The light-hearted play of colour brightens the elevations and prevents what might otherwise have been a rather sombre project. Circular concrete columns, set back from the façades, support the weight of the floor slabs and free the elevations from their load-bearing function. The crisp, clipped edges and the positioning of the glazing flush with the façade abstracts the orthogonal volumes. In contrast to the chequered colour combination of the three volumes to the east, the west-facing buildings adjacent to the sports fields have been articulated in a single shade of monochrome, gunmetal grey that offset the use of primary colours elsewhere. Overall, the clear, concise volumes create a modern, sleek architectural vocabulary. The generous stairways that link the levels in each of the volumes form the circulatory hub of the school.

Blue, red & yellow shaded panels

©Raimondas Urbakavicius

 
 

©Raimondas Urbakavicius

 
 

©Raimondas Urbakavicius

 

The Balsai school building was designed not only as a modern educational institution, but also as an attractive area that can stimulate communication in the local community.

Sigitas Kuncevicˇius
 

 

The off-shutter interior walls have been enlivened by Swisspearl panels in shades of blue, red and yellow, thereby linking the interior with the exterior and illustrating the versatility of the fiber cement material. The success of the design has been officially acknowledged in Lithuania: the school was awarded a Gold Medal “Project of the Year 2011”.

 

Video

 
 

KEY FACTS

Object
Balsai School

 

Location
Bubilo g. 8, Vilnius, Lithuania

 

Award
Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists: Gold Medal, Projectof the Year 2011

 

Architects
Sigitas Kuncevicˇius, Loreta Kuncevicˇiene·, Martynas
Dagys, Zygimantas Gudelis, Aiste· Kuncevicˇiu-te·, Vilnius

 

Photos
Raimondas Urbakavicius, Vilnius, Lithuania

 

Building period
2010 – 2011

 

General contractor
UAB Merko Statyba, Vilnius

 

Façade construction
UAB Merko Statyba, Vilnius

 

Façade products
SWISSPEARL 8mm CARAT Black Opal 7020
SWISSPEARL 8mm CARAT Coral 7031
SWISSPEARL 8mm CARAT Azurite 7040
SWISSPEARL 8mm CARAT Amber 7083

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