SMAR Architecture studio appointed for Kaunas Science Island

5 April 2018
Credit: SMAR Architecture Studio

SMAR Architecture Studio




Negotiations conclude for new €25m innovation centre

Kaunas City Municipality have announced the appointment of SMAR Architecture Studio to design Science Island, Lithuania’s new National Science and Innovation Centre. SMAR, based in Australia and Spain, was the highest ranked of three winners in the most popular design contest ever held in Lithuania. Organised by Malcolm Reading in 2016, the competition attracted submissions by 144 teams from 44 countries. After the contest ended, a negotiated procedure without publication of a contract notice took place according to Lithuanian procurement regulations.

SMAR’s concept is informed by the Centre’s location, set within a 33 hectare site on Nemunas Island. The roof will include access points acting as public stages and seating areas, blending the surrounding park and museum together. Science Island is also situated near the historic Centras district and its universities, and will celebrate recent technological achievements to encourage visitors to expand their knowledge and support innovation in these fields. The designers sought to symbolise the purpose of the Centre in its outward form. Dr. Fernando Jerez, Founder and Creative Director of SMAR Architecture Studio, stated: “The existing landscape gives shape to the Innovation Centre, which is topped by a sloping and reflecting upper disk: a landmark for the city. This will be a new sun for Kaunas, a bright, shining sun – evidence that Science is always awake, searching for new answers.”

SMAR will collaborate with the Lithuanian practice, UAB Architektų biuras G. Natkevičius ir partneriai, to deliver the €25m centre. A detailed design is scheduled for completion by February 2019, with the project expected to open in 2021, ahead of Kaunas’ term as the 2022 European Capital of Culture.

Lucy Nordberg

TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

This competition was first published by Tenderstream on 05.05.2016. See the original brief here

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