International architectural competition for reconstruction of building complex of Jonušas Radvila Palace

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania

Year: 2021

Project Team: Warehouse of Architecture and Research (Gabriele Corbo, Jacopo Costanzo, Valeria Guerrisi, Eugenia Di Biase, Angela Tanzola, Cristina Tascioni)

AM3 Architetti Associati

City Projects

GICO studio

Landscape and Urban Planning:

Marina Mazzamuto



The incomplete chapter of the Radvila Palace, located in a particularly strategic area of ​​the city of Vilnius, constitutes a great opportunity for a urban reinterpretation and transformation.

In a delicate context such as an historic center labelled by UNESCO, a non-finished architecture leads us inevitably towards a systemic approach. Furthermore, the project site is located exactly at the intersection of two fundamental urban systems.

On the one hand, the continuum of public spaces and representative buildings (many of which are linked to cultural activities such as the Opera House, the Center of Contemporary Art and the Philharmonic) along the north-east/south-west direction which constitutes the spatial and functional center of gravity of the historic center and that connects the Neris river with the railway line and the central station, passing through the historic “Gate of Dawn”.

On the other hand, the site is crossed by the landscape system that connects Gediminas Hill with Tauras Hill, symbolic strongholds of the city, in a succession of green spaces which are more or less accessible but which in fact constitute an important ecological corridor and lung for the historic center.

The objectives derived from the urban analyses were therefore two: on the one hand, to strengthen, through the new intervention, the clarity of the urban backdrop of public space in order to read it in continuity with the system of squares, mostly mineral, that follows the concatenation of cultural leisure buildings that we have previously mentioned. On the other hand, guaranteeing some continuity and permeability among the two sides of the transversal ecological system.

The project was guided by the possibility of combining the new museum with the pre-existing structure in a coherent way and, at the same time, of not being in mimetic continuity with it.

The purpose of the proposal is not to emerge from the historical urban context as an alien intervention, in terms of shape and space, but rather to create a rational architecture in natural continuity with the existing palace. The new volume, rigorous and marked by the rhythm of the large columns, is designed in pink pigmented facing concrete, since it best enhances the monolithic vertical elements, echoing the typical tones of the historical urban context and of the preexisting palace.

The outdoor space is made of two large squares. The front square has the characteristics of a social civic space that welcomes visitors and directs them towards the entrance of the new museum. A further layer overlaps the design of the flooring: an oblique sign that guides the visitor towards the entrance of the museum and towards the square behind it, breaking the horizontality of the main lines and generating a zenithal suprematist composition together with the circular lake. The other square is a wooded area: an element that mends the urban voids behind the museum; generating a visual continuity with the hilly landscape that the visitor admires from the top floor of the museum.