The city of Vilnius simultaneously speaks of evidence of the past, life of the present and aspirations of the future through its built fabric and culture. The design proposal perceives Vilnius as the potential beating heart of the city. It realises the opportunity that a transport hub located in an area steeped in history presents. It envisages diverse and efficient spatial experiences within the designated site area as it explores the idea of Vilnius in a day well within the boundaries of the site precinct. It is an inspired attempt that draws value from the macro and micro site-scape at every turn to shine a light on the potential of the railway precinct to pioneer urban solutions, celebrate the numerous forms of heritage, build context responsive and heritage sensitive structures, utilise landscape as an element of reactive urbanism, and bring the community together at different points and different formats.
To formulate every design element, a larger context is considered. A 1km radius is studied around the defined competition territory to identify urban problems and potential areas for urban improvement. Along with understanding the urban issues, the study also presented Vilnius’ sustainability goals, workplace goals as well as the community’s actions and intentions.
The urban interventions prioritize:
Transit, Junction, Road Interventions at multiple points. The Gelezenkelio street is organised for streamlined movement with shared mobility in front of the station. An E Mobility Hub is planned, placing importance on cycling and pedestrian movement facilities. Heritage streets are celebrated through the routing of the cycling tracks. Accident Prone Zones are identified and treated with traffic calming measures.
Implementation of connections across railways. These networks are implemented to tie up the residential neighbourhood, the new town and the heritage area. Several connections are proposed including 3 above ground connections for cyclists/pedestrians, and an underground cyclist tunnel across. These corridors pass through different kinds of activity throughout to ensure that the space is lively, safe and interactive. Since these connections are to be used everyday, they are taken through spaces like cafes, offices etc. to promote the use of non motorized vehicles.
Green-Blue Infrastructure. While Vilnius is 56% green, the area around the station does not reflect the ratio. Landscape measures are taken through the treatment of the plaza in front of the station, additions within Stoties Square as well as the conceptualisation of the Heritage Park. Architectural interventions such as green roofs are also implemented to increase the green surface ratio.