Biennial exhibition “Zvilgsnis i save” (“Introspection”) is the main,
traditional event of Lithuanian architecture.
The aim of the exhibition-competition is to review current trends, to
evaluate the quality of Lithuanian architecture, and to mark the best projects.
The exhibition presents architectural projects (realized and not realized),
designed by Lithuanian architects in our country and abroad during 2008-2009.
The exhibition consists of virtual exposition and catalogue, which will be
issued after the winners are awarded.
The best works will be selected by international jury:
Arch. Ralf Looke (“Salto”, Estonia)
Architect, a partner and cofounder of the architecture office “Salto” (www.salto.ee; 2004, Tallinn). In addition to the work as an architect he has been teaching in Estonian Academy of Arts, giving lectures in Estonia and Europe.
“Salto” office has won several architecture and landscape architecture competitions in Estonia and built a number of public buildings and dwellings, as well as the Estonian pavilion at XI International Architecture Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, receiving considerable attention in professional media.
Arch. Hubert Trammer ( Poland)
Architect, teacher at Lublin University of Technology, author of various publications in Polish architectural monthly „Architektura-murator“ and „A10“, new European architecture magazine. Lecturer at various architectural events, collaborator with several Polish cultural institutions, member of jury of various international competitions (incl. Europan).
Arch. Artis Zvirgzdins (editor-in-chief of a4d.lv, Latvia)
Architect, architecture critic. Editor-in-chief of main Latvian architectural information and discussion platform on internet www.a4d.lv , contributor of Latvian architecture magazine Latvijas Architektûra. Recent work: books Riga Urban Landmarks (author) and 5x10. Latvian architecture since 1991 (co-author).
searching for the questions
Optimists of recent economical crisis, that shook every sphere to the
foundation, are claiming: political, economical and social turbulences create
auspicious backdrop for the emergence of new ideas.
Slowing pace of the construction (and, consequently, design market) gives a
ground to a hope that the schedule of an architect is unclogged for cogitation
and accumulation of ideas for upcoming after-crisis’s architecture.
The diversity of projects, presented in the exhibition of contemporary
Lithuanian architecture „Introspection 2008-2009“, is a comment on turning-point
of the times: some of them are representing bullish ambitions of „fat years“,
the others – reality of dropped economy. Only few of the projects are declaring
An excuse for the lack of innovative ideas in architecture, blaming on
decreasing extent and budgets of construction, that made the list of client‘s
criteria narrowed down to „as cheap as possible“(especially when talking about
public premises), sounds hollow. The value of a budget doesn’t have direct
impact to architect’s creativeness nor client’s expectations towards quality
Shifting zeitgeist is indicating new directions for architecture‘s priorities,
criteria, problems and themes. There is a sore need for new answers to the
questions: what are the aims of architecture? What virtues it should maintain
and represent” What are the responsibilities and competences of an architect?
2 years ago the international jury of exhibition “Introspection2005-2007”,
evaluating Lithuanian architecture, highlighted a complex of sore issues, such
as originality, “placeness”, excellence of the design and implementation. Are
these themes of the top importance for Lithuanian architecture still?
The exhibition reveals some projects that are a reaction to today’s change of
virtues, priorities and tasks of architecture and architect’s role. They suggest
that the aim of the architecture is to enhance the environment, deal with social
and urban problems, not confining itself to a heroic scale only, but undertaking
smaller, daily, but not less important tasks. “Being iconic” is being replaced
from the top of the priorities list by “being reasonable and efficient” (though
sustainable technologies and energy efficiency still is barely addressed issue
One could croak that practical and logic modernistic approach lacks of poetry
and menaces with “rationalization”, turning the architecture to nothing more as
a container for a function. Would it happen or not, depends on position of
architect - whether he / she would unselfishly and mindfully see into the
specific problems and values of the context, expectations of the client and
It seems, Lithuanian architecture is in the crossroads of aims, priorities
and questions, and this exhibition is still leaving a question mark, what
direction would be taken finally.
Ruta Leitanaite, curator
5 winners will be awarded by traditional prize – sculpture “metre”.