The new public library in Anykščiai restores the spatial harmony of the main square, which had been wrecked by urban intervention in Soviet times, and creates a coherent whole consisting of the square, the riverside and the historic church.

Project details

Project Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania
Client Municipality of Anykščiai
Architect Institute of design and restoration + Architect Vytenis Daunoras
Contractor Dailista
Clay roof tiles used Beaver tile, straight-cut, red engobe

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Roof of the Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Roof of the Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Roof of the Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai Public Library, Lithuania

Anykščiai – the cradle of Lithuanian literature

The town of Anykščiai enjoys the fame of being the cradle of Lithuanian literature. For the great Lithuanian poet Antanas Baranauskas and his nephew, writer Antanas Vienuolis, the picturesque landscape between the river Šventoji and the surrounding woods was a source of inspiration. Today, monuments on the square in front of the church and on the adjacent riverside remind visitors of both writers. The impressive 19th century brick church and the main square that is set into the green slope of the riverside form the heart of Anykščiai’s old town.

Harmonious balance

In Soviet times, the harmony of this composition was disturbed. The quarter located behind the church was demolished and replaced by bland commercial and administrative buildings, ignoring any traditions of scale or architectural style of the old town. The population considered the orientation of the backyards of the new complex towards the church as an additional affront. With the discreet composition of his concept for the new public library, architect Vytenis Daunoras has now achieved a renewal of the former balance.
 
The building consists of three sections, which integrate into the context of the square like the segments of a snake and provide a perfect urban boundary. The single building sections are very well proportioned; at first glance, they seem to consist of nothing but clay and glass.

Brick as common theme

Brick-red ceramic elements were used for both the roofs as well as the façades. The roof, in particular, was constructed with a straight-cut, red engobed beaver tile. Glass strips with an irregular conical shape, which were inserted along the roof, the eaves and vertically on the façade, ensure natural lighting, while glazed corridors connect the three parts of the building. “The brick-red colour of the roof is a reference to the church and the remaining historic buildings in the town centre” architect Daunoras says. “When overlooking Anykščai from the top of the church tower, the library merges harmoniously with the existing buildings of the old town and their roofs, which create a dotted pattern of similar colours and materials”. The library not only achieves an upgrading of the square and its surroundings in terms of its architecture and town planning, it also fulfils a substantial social function. Besides being a place where one can read or borrow books, the new library is an important meeting place for various age groups and has developed into a vibrant centre of public life.

Related inspiration articles