More and more buildings in the capital will be planned through architectural competitions

Vilnius has updated and expanded the list of facilities it will be mandatory to announce project tenders to evaluate architectural ideas for. This ensures that the most appropriate architectural solution and location will be selected for new facilities in the capital. This list was approved by the Vilnius City Council today.

“We strive to ensure that the new architecture and public spaces do not repeat the mistakes of Soviet urbanism, but create a vibrant, open, safe and attractive city. To this end, more than a year ago, we initiated the quality architecture principles, which we strictly adhere to and demand from others. From now on, we will organize architectural competitions for an even wider list of public facilities finding the best architectural solutions for them and ensuring that public funds are spent on truly high-quality buildings and public spaces. First of all, it is a commitment to ourselves, and to most developers and designers. This quality challenge is really uplifting“, – says Mindaugas Pakalnis, the city’s chief architect.

Photos by Saulius Žiūra

Innovations and additions

Although a certain list for organizing architectural competitions has been valid until now, the update contains innovations and additions.

It has been decided that the requirement to participate in the tender will be mandatory when using municipal and state budget funds if the administrative, cultural, scientific, medical, sports, transport and special purpose objects or their appendices are larger than 2,000 sq. m. The city’s chief architect, having analyzed the situation (location of the facility in the city, its proximity, urban context, significant functions of the facility, etc.), will decide on the need to evaluate architectural ideas with a total area of up to 2,000 sq. m. evaluating projects by independent peer review.

The aim is to ensure that the buildings designed with public funds are of the highest possible quality. Therefore, the requirement to organize architectural tenders for the designed buildings has been tightened. Now buildings with an area of 2,000 sq. m. will have to take part in the tender (previously it their area started only from 3,000 sq. m.).

The city’s chief architect will have to make such a decision also regarding public spaces – squares, parks, as well as buildings and structures under construction in public spaces, small architectural facilities.

An architectural tender will be mandatory for the planning of religious buildings larger than 1,000 sq. m.

Project tenders shall be announced when the prevailing building height specified in the General plan is exceeded. This will avoid plans that do not meet the context of the new neighborhood environment and development plans that do not meet current standards.

The decision will not apply to projects meeting the quality requirements of architectural and urban planning solutions set by the municipality, and if these projects have received a positive evaluation of the Lithuanian Union of Architects and Urban Planning Experts Council or Vilnius Regional Architecture Council of the Lithuanian Chamber of Architects no architectural  tender shall be required.

The requirements for the preparation of architectural tender shall also apply to the developers of privately planned projects in Vilnius.

As in the previous procedure, the provision that architectural idea tenders will have to be announced for the planning of high-rise buildings and structures in certain cases provided for in the spatial planning documents shall remain.

As before, the announcement of architectural tenders shall be mandatory when planning more than 5,000 sq.m. building in the Old Town, in the central part of the city. This shall apply to buildings for various purposes – hotels, administrative, commercial, service, cultural, scientific, medical, leisure, sports, residential or special buildings. In the rest of the city, architectural tenders will be mandatory for the above-mentioned buildings larger than 10,000 sq. m.