Kaunas, Lithuania
UAB Kita Kryptis


Castle view

Near the confluence of Neman and Neris Rivers, the architectural office Kita Kryptis was commissioned to design three residential buildings. So far, two of the three have been built, as part of a larger development of this area into a residential district. The two apartment buildings are placed in what is becoming the new Piliamiestis quarter, located opposite the monumental Old Castle of Kaunas. This historical Castle is not only centre stage in many of the views from the apartments, but it also formed a major reference for the architecture of the new buildings.

On the request of the Kaunas city architect, Kita Kryptis's Tomas Kriaučiūnas has mixed and matched the colours of his buildings with those of the castle. For this, he has used AGROB BUCHTAL’s KeraTwin® K20 tiles, finished with a self-washing and air pollutants eliminating HT coating.

The castle has walls made out of a mix of stone and bricks, and roofs covered with terra-cotta tiles. The brown facades of the apartment buildings do not exactly mimic the colours of the castle, but they are certainly taking cues from it. In a subtle way, Kriaučiūnas has managed not only to reference the colour of the Old Castle but also the texture of its walls.

The facades echo the robustness and unevenness of the castle’s rusticated walls in the alternating use of tiles with and without grooves, in the variation of the dimensions of the ceramic tiles and in the nuanced colour differences between them. In this way, he has given a tactile materiality to his architecture. Despite the evident differences in appearance and history between the Old Castle and the new residential architecture on either side of the river, Kriaučiūnas has achieved a natural, yet novel understanding between past and present.

Photographer: Leonas Garbačauskas