Architects: E.Miliuno studija / Dvieju Grupe
Location: Siauliai, Lithuania
Chief architect: Eugenijus Miliunas
Project Architects: Gintaras Balcytis, Algimantas Bublys, Eugenijus Miliunas, Linas Tuleikis
Project Team: Julius Baronas, Vytautas Calka, , Aurimas Ramanauskas, Kestutis Scevinskas, Kestutis Vaiksnoras
Urban Architect: Algimantas Cerniauskas
Structural Engineer: Audrius Razaitis
Client: Municipality of Siauliai
Contractor: AB Panevezio statybos trestas
Constructed Area: 19,600 sqm
Budget: € 21,500,000
Project year: 2005-2006
Construction year: 2006-2007
Photographs: Gintaras Cesonis
The origin of the name of Šiauliai, a town in northern Lithuania, is identified with the word “the Sun”. Therefore, the architects wanted to provide the new largest public space of Šiauliai with an impression of solar glow outside the building. On the other hand, the building maintains moderation and modesty – a feature of people of the region – Samogitians – inside.
Already in the early visualization stage, the architects wished to make it as a chameleon, therefore, it was decided to apply holographic glass for the facade. The facade shades have been changing with the changing lighting: at the bright sunlight it looks like a vivid playful rainbow, whereas cloudy or rainy settings give it a calm and solid view.
For interior of the arena, very few colors were used in order to create a contrast between the inside and the holographic glass, to avoid turning interior details to the main accents and to make the premises for the crowds of people entering the arena as democratic as possible.
The building was designed to be located in a park next to a quarter of multi-shaped residential areas of blocks-of-flats of the eighth decade – in a green zone, surrounded by poor grey architecture of the Soviet period. The chosen round form of the building plan signifies a hint of the Sun. The round Arena becomes a dominant in the district of brute buildings and, on the other hand, softly dissolves in the green area surroundings.
The arena is a five-floor circular building, with a diameter of 100 meters and the height of nearly 19 meters. It may seat 5740 and 7000 persons at a time during basketball games and concerts respectively.
Since one of the project architects, Algimantas Bublys, had been actively involved in the design of sports facilities in America for a few decades, the model of the Šiauliai Arena was chosen to be rational, compact and universal – containing features, peculiar to American Arenas.
This coincided with the needs of the city government to have not only the arena hall but also the sports and cultural center, allowing universal activities to ensure the vitality of the building each day. Therefore, the multifunctional complex has been designed for a wide range of sports events and tournaments, as well as for artistic and theatre performances, educational activities such as exhibitions, fairs, concerts. Furthermore, it houses sports schools, clubs, a wellness and beauty center, a fitness hall, a sports museum, cafes, bars, etc. These facilities operate even when no massive events take place.