Public gardens in Anykščiai

Team: Office De Architectura + Sigita Simona Paplauskaitė
Status: Ongoing, planned end of construction 2023
Location: Anykščiai, Lithuania
Area: 27 000 m²
Year: 2021

Anykščiai is a historic town in the north of Lithuania. It is located in a national park and surrounded by nature, but a lot of residents live in late 20th-century socialist housing areas. Buildings in these developments are slowly being renovated, however public space has not changed for the last 40 years and most of the infrastructure is derelict. Social and political changes in the early ’90s made old socialist planning ideas obsolete and change is well overdue.

We created a new urban strategy and identity for three socialist housing areas in Anykščiai by introducing a new green urban framework. Along with these new connections and backbones, we suggested reinforcing and rebuilding several key spots in each neighbourhood by combining the needs of children, adults and seniors.

The landscape in this project is the key to creating new spatial qualities. In the vast, undefined grass fields we introduced new elements – apple gardens, farming areas, community tables and pavilions.

The project spans three areas, however, they are seen as a part of one city-wide network. Each area offers different qualities, therefore reinforcing local individual characters.

One of our goals in this project was to avoid fragmentation and social segregation. Using landscape and new architectural features we reinforced existing paths and created clear walkable routes through the neighbourhoods. Instead of bypassing these areas on the perimeter along the streets, there will be more enjoyable pedestrian and cyclist paths through each area.