The ambitious plans of the City of Klaipėda, to rebuild a demolished gothic castle and convert it into a cultural centre, started on the site it originally stood. An exact outline of the castle’s ground floor is integrated into the surface of the new square. A drawing, implemented using ceramic tiles of different colours discloses the size and the layout of the castle to the visitors.

Project details

Project
Reconstruction of Klaipėda Castle, adaption to touristic use, Klaipėda, Lithuania
Client
Municipality of Klaipėda
Architect
JSC "Uostamiescio projektas" www.uoastamiescioprojektas.lt
Used pavers Wienerberger STT Red Kare, STT Terra Kare
 

Courtyard made out of clay pavers showing the contour of the castle's ground plan

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adapting to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Courtyard made out of clay pavers at Klaipeda Castle, Lithuania

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

Model of Klaipeda castle

Reconstruction of Klaipeda Castle, adaptation to touristic use, Klaipeda, Lithuania

About Klaipėda City and the Castle

Klaipėda Castle, which was built in the 13th century at the mouth of the Dange River, served as part of a fortification system, until it lost its strategic importance in the 19th century. Over the last three decades, the castle grounds were the property of a ship repair company, which used the water channels surrounding the Castle as anchorage for private yachts, while the castle site itself served as a boatyard.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the City of Klaipėda has taken steps to give the castle site back to the citizens and integrate it into a system of public spaces. The ship repair company left the castle grounds in 2009, making space for the ambitious plans of Klaipėda to create a cultural, tourism and leisure hub. In 2002, the basement already accommodated a history museum exhibiting authentic remnants of a medieval Teutonic castle and various archaeological findings.

Symbolic footprint

Rebuilding the 16th century castle began with clearing the territory from the warehouses and marking out the castle’s original ground plan, which was confirmed by the archaeological findings on the surface of the new square. The contour of the castle floor plan is integrated into the paving, familiarising visitors with the size, structure and layout of the castle. Seeking to give the square a contemporary appearance while simultaneously ensuring its longevity and ergonomics, the architects chose Wienerberger clay pavers in natural colours: the castle walls are marked with a dark brown outline, whereas the interior spaces are filled with orange pavers. In contrast, the remaining area of the square surface is covered in grey gravel to distinguish between the inside and outside of the castle, not only visually but also by the surface texture. Though only intended as a temporary solution, the new square is set to stay for several years, until the surrounding landscape and fortification structures are reconstructed and the City of Klaipėda is ready to replace the symbolic footprint with a rebuilt redbrick Castle.

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