The Modern Art Museum in Vilnius will be dedicated to the exploration of works created from 1960 to present by Lithuanian artists. The collection, belonging to Viktoras Butkus and Danguole Butkiene, co-founders of the non-profit Modern Art Center (MAC) Vilnius, contains more than 4,000 works.
Surrounded by a new public piazza located steps away from the historic medieval city, the 3.100 square-meters museum stands as an expression of Vilnius’s past and present.
The building of the Modern Art Museum is conceived as a cultural “gateway” connecting the 18th century grid to the medieval walled city. The concept is inspired by the historic gates of the city and references the local architecture both in form and materials.
Two volumetric forms intertwine to create a structure that flows between inside and outside. The rectilinear exterior façade is clad in luminous, crisp white concrete that references the local materials of the city. The interior courtyard cuts through the entire form and features a dramatic staircase that leads to a public planted-roof and sculpture garden that connect directly to the piazza at street-level.
The extraction of the geometric volume at the core of the structure allowed the architects to open-up the entire building, creating floor-to-ceiling glazing that will flood the interior galleries with natural light. The southern facing exposures will be regulated by a five-meter cantilever that will provide natural shade during the warmest summer months.
As visitors approach from the north, they enter though a three-story (10 meter tall) glazed entrance into a double-height, sunlight filled lobby. The galleries are connected by means of an open floor plan that will include 1.000 square meters of exhibition space dedicated to both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The museum will include a café, bookstore, educational areas, auditorium, as well as storage and administrative space.
Photo credits: Studio Libeskind