1217 Luksio Quarter
Luksio Quarter is a new mixed use urban centre for Vilnius where the spirit of discovery and innovation can be combined with culture and recreation. The site presents a paradox: in an area defined by intense flows of vehicles, the aim is to achieve a pedestrian realm of relaxed family activity and calm public spaces away from traffic noise and pollution. Listening to the site and its context, existing elements suggested clues. Building 15 offered strong economic demand but is a problem due to size and age. The building is built like a tank, so we decided to love this building and utilised its robust qualities to help unlock the riddle of the site. Asking about the history, culture and traditions of Vilnius we discovered a strong weaving tradition, which offered a clue, a way of thinking about the site, and an accessible tool to weave different strands of contradictory elements into more complex hybrid combinations. Another clue came from the enthusiasm for new 21st century technologies – based around innovation and the promise of Sunrise Valley which lies waiting just on the other side of the river. The urban structure is based on geometric analysis of urban tissue, morphology, and buildings. The East-West warp of linear bands define space for large buildings, courtyard blocks and public space. Thinner secondary bands (strips) define areas for small buildings, infrastructures and service lanes. Each band is defined by differing density or speed, from car speed of P.Luksio G. to walking speed of public space. The North-South weft structures use Strands of angled geometries to cut across the east-west bands. These Strands define access routes, geometry and position of court blocks and high towers to create a dynamic skyline. The Strands combined with the east-west bands together make up a tartan inter-weaving of larger and smaller bands. Vertical structures move up through different horizontal layers bending and weaving across changes of program. The towers oscillate at different wavelengths to provide a unique colour identity to each plot or building generating a powerful image defining a unique variable skyline to look at and from. The lower six story courtyard blocks create a consistent platform. Upon this towers are positioned so that each is clearly identifiable from a distance. The tower skyline can also be observed as a unique cluster from Gediminas hill. The ‘PlayGround Piazza’ is the main public space which creates a strong and very accessible east-west green structure connecting the green structures along the river across the site towards the west, while providing a clearly defined piazza scale space of 60m providing good sun aspect for winter along a new southern façade of Building 15 for the Alley of Tastes. Plots are based on 12m deep buildings to minimize energy use for lighting and heating, and orientated carefully to maximize the benefits of solar gain, and reduce dependence on non-renewable resources. The extension of the strands of both warp and weft allow weaving bands extend out into the adjacent fabric to create new connections especially for pedestrians and cyclists in future developments.