Plans have been revealed for a new Modern Art Center (MAC) in the historic city of Vilnius, Lithuania. The 3100-square-meter "three-dimensional public space," as architect Daniel Libeskind describes it, is designed to be a "cultural gateway" that connects the city's 18th century grid and medieval walled city.
“We wanted to create a museum for the people of Lithuania, and also give this collection a home and an international audience. This collection is about the cultural legacy of the country,” said founder Viktoras Butkus. “Libeskind’s work is expressive, innovative, and, most importantly, has the power to tell the story of the past while connecting to the future of the city,” added Butkus.
From the architect: The concept is inspired by the historic gates of the city and references the local architecture both in form and materials. Two volumetric forms intertwine to create a structure that flows between inside and outside. The rectilinear exterior façade is clad in luminous, crisp white concrete that references the local materials of the city. The interior courtyard cuts through the entire form and features a dramatic staircase that leads to a public planted-roof and sculpture garden that connect directly to the piazza at street-level.
The extraction of the geometric volume at the core of the structure allowed the architects to open-up the entire building, creating floor-to-ceiling glazing that will flood the interior galleries with natural light. The southern facing exposures will be regulated by a five-meter cantilever that will provide natural shade during the warmest summer months.
As visitors approach from the north, they enter though a three-story (10-meter-tall) glazed entrance into a double-height, sunlight filled lobby. The galleries are connected by means of an open floor plan that will include 1,000 sq. meters of exhibition space dedicated to both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
The museum will include a café, bookstore, educational areas, auditorium, as well as storage and administrative space. Construction is set to begin in 2017 and completion slated for early 2019.