Villa in Vilnius

Vilnius, Lithuania
Architekturbüro Arches
Terrassenplatten AGROB BUCHTAL

Property with patio and terrace in Lithuania

Privacy at a crossroads in Vilnius
A plot of land in a small suburban area of Vilnius, located directly at a crossroads. Anyone who wants to build here inevitably thinks about protecting the building against noise and prying eyes. Not so the architecture office Arches, also from Vilnius. Arches wanted to avoid isolating the private house and rather include it in the importance which the crossroads has for the community. This is where the traffic streams meet and diverge again. It is a place of togetherness, a place where one is seen. Privacy and community life should be reconciled.

Thus, a traditional fence around the property was  out of the question. Instead, an impressive, sculptural concrete wall as a compositional part of the building unobtrusively fulfils the function of protecting privacy, of being undisturbed. Its charm comes in particular from the numerous protrusions, which are reminiscent of balcony boxes and are irregularly distributed over the wall. Their planting expressively revises the sober appearance of the concrete and contributes significantly to the loosening up and enrichment of the road space.

However, although the concrete wall fulfils a protective function, it was not extended over the entire height of the first floor. In the upper area, a small gap allows sunlight to enter the rooms unhindered during the day. In the evening, when everything around is getting dark, the electric light escaping through skylights and slit windows in turn illuminates the crossroads.

A different world begins behind the patio
The entrance area in the northern corner of the house is laid out like a secret garden, a kind of patio behind which the other world begins. There, the house opens up with all its rooms towards the southern courtyard. The living and kitchen areas, for example, have direct access to the covered terrace with outdoor fireplace. Large-size patio tiles made of porcelain stoneware in the colour mid-grey create design harmony in a functional, objective context. Noble, unagitated, they convey impressions of original stone types. The laying with cross joints takes up the straight lines of the building, while the representative tile format of 60 x 120 centimetres ensures a uniform appearance. Agrob Buchtal's promise of quality guarantees that this remains the case: the patio tiles are robust, durable as well as frost- and slip-resistant.

Photographer: Ieva Saudargaite