Landmark architecture. Former Information Centre in Panevėžys

Its construction began in 1984 and was completed in 1989. The grey concrete edifice is the former Information Centre in Panevėžys, Lithuania. Today it serves as an office building. Its design was made by architect Arūnas Blūšius in collaboration with engineer Pranas Barkauskas. Today, the building is home to a number of institutions.

Once used as an information centre, today the administrative building is one of the most important in the architect’s oeuvre. The designer did not have an easy task. He had to create an edifice that would accommodate many counting machines and the installation that would support their work. Hence the strong and perception-heavy upper part, where the machine room operated.

In an interview with the sa.lt website, the architect explicitly admits that today he would design the building slightly differently, so that it would blend in better with the surrounding buildings. At the same time, he recalls that at that time Lithuania was not an independent state, and he was only a “small cog” in the design task. He had previously planned for the building to be one storey lower, so that it would not protrude above the neighbouring building. When the construction work started, he was ‘asked’ to add another storey. The large machines did not fit on the lower ones (the columns got in the way), so he took the equipment out to the top floor.

Formally, the building was constructed as an industrial building. The regulations at the time stipulated that such buildings should be constructed in an economical mode, saving as much metal or brick as possible. In order to preserve at least some sculptural form, the architect had to go to the Ministry of Construction for negotiations. The negotiations were successful.

In addition to designing, architect Arūnas Blūšius is interested in sculpture. He is also involved in creating music. He was the guitarist of the famous Lithuanian music group “Antis”. His sculptural interests have given the building’s façade a rhythmic form of repeating shapes.

photos: Norbert Tukaj(www.norberttukaj.com)

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