Competition: Klaipėda library, Lithuania

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 a 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.’

The project aims to deliver a new library with both traditional and contemporary facilities along with a community centre featuring 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 a £6,150 top prize. A second prize of £4,400, third prize of £2,600 and fourth prize of £880 will also be awarded.

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Reported by: The Architects Journal