K18 office building
The River Neris divides Vilnius into two – the historical old town on one side and the new town on the other, teeming with life. The most apparent symbol of the new town is the cluster of high-rise buildings around Konstitucijos street: Europa Tower, Swedbank’s Lithuanian headquarters and the Radisson Blu. Vilnius is developing a reputation as a financial centre in Central and Eastern Europe, and this has dictated the trend of high demand for new office space – something the city has acknowledged. Wishing to concentrate the dynamics from these changes into one place in an effective manner, the city envisions developing the existing high-rise district even more.
The location of the new high-rise was also the point of departure for the approach of the KOKO architects: a footpath runs right through the middle of the plot from the banks of the Neris to the midst of the high-rises. The two objectives of the solution were to establish an active urban space on the abovementioned axis and to add a new landmark to Vilnius’s naujas miestas.
Two functions were assigned to the building: hotel and office space. Proceeding from the idea of the entrance, we left the existing axis unencumbered and brought the two towers, each of which has a separate function, to either side of the square that was formed. As a result of keeping the footprint of the towers to a minimum, slightly more private parks developed by each building: a hotel park for guests and the office building’s park where employees could spend their lunchtime and breaks.
By separating the towers, both wound up with overlapping functions, which had they been connected at ground level would have filled up the entire urban space and the park space. As the solution, the towers were connected higher up, enabling the denizens of the buildings to share use of the additional functions to be added – a restaurant, sports club and others –and enjoy the best views. Connecting the towers also created a new icon for the district – the New City Gate.