Mega Mall

Kaunas, Lithuania
Saulius Mikštas

Mega Mall

Mega makeover

The extension of Mega, the large shopping mall in Kaunas, has been an opportunity for a make-over of the organization and appearance of the complex. The architect Saulius Mikštas of FORMA has designed an additional 30,000 square metres to an already substantial 70,000 square metres of retail, built a bit more than a decade ago, near the intersection of the A1 and A5 at the northern edge of the city.

Despite being smaller than what was already there, the extension completely changes the character of the mall, by departing from the conventional and ubiquitous shopping mall model of having a big recessed volume with a large parking lot in front of it. The extension basically fills up the former parking lot. Aside from using the land more efficiently, it gives the mall a more prominent presence to motorists passing on the highway.
The added volume consists of stores on street level and a three-level parking structure on top of it, plus a unified screen around the whole complex. Both new and existing buildings are covered in ceramics of AGROB BUCHTAL, totalling 7,000 square metres.

The elevations are made out of large, volcanic-grey KeraTwin® K20 ceramic panels (of 30x120 cm). The same material has been used for the office building next door of Kesko Senukai, the owner of the mall. This uniformity helps to further ordering this previously rather jumbled environment.
The unified facade covers a diversity of structures and construction systems behind it. A part of the ceramic facade is directly attached to insulation panels; in other parts, it was fixed on a steel and concrete structure for which a custom-made solution was engineered.

The elevation of the parking structure is partially opened up. The ceramic panels work here as louvres, allowing for air ventilation within the parking building. All ceramic tiles have a special Hytect coating which cleans the air of pollutants through a photocatalytic process. With a surface of this size it equals the effect of small deciduous forest. It won’t eliminate all the air pollution caused by passing traffic and the visitors to the mall, many of whom come by car, but it contributes significantly to the reduction of it.


Photographer: Leonas Garbačauskas