Daniel Libeskind has been commissioned to design a leisure destination for the Lithuanian city of Vilnius. Perched on the highest point in the city, between Vilnius’ historic center, business district and airport, the “Vilnius Beacon” aims to become a cultural and recreational attraction at the Liepkalnis Ski Hill that offers a range of summer and winter activities.
“I was inspired by the landscape of this beautiful city. My goal with this project was to bring an exciting dimension of architecture that respects the natural elements, while providing a year- round sustainable center for the citizens of Vilnius,” said Libeskind. “The Beacon is set to become a new epicenter of entertainment, leisure and culture for the city.”
From the architect: Situated at the base of Vilnius’ premier ski hill and the highest point in the city, the Beacon is inspired by the natural beauty of the Lithuanian landscape. The design is a study in contrasting geometries. At the core of the masterplan is a circular plaza that encompasses the open arena/ sports center, sited along the periphery are the two main structures, and a zig-zagging canopy spirals around the site creating a dramatic architectural experience, as well as creating a protected pathway between the main areas of the center.
The main entrance building appears to rise from the ground on a tilt, with a sloping roofline and sinuous facade that will frame the central arena. Inside, visitors will encounter a large open-air plan that will house the ticket and rental areas as well as retail and public amenities.
Across the site to the northeast, the main lodge is set into the hill side, with a curved roof that is an extension of the natural landscape. The three-storey building will grant stunning panoramic views to the city below. On the ground floor an open lobby includes the Regional Park Information Center, and a multipurpose space to be used for events and conferences year round. On the first floor there is a bistro for casual dining with an open terrace that provides direct access to the east slope. On the top floor, a gourmet restaurant with wrap around windows will give diners spectacular views of the city and beyond.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2015 and be completed in 2016.