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Panžaga Office Building

Kaunas, Lithuania
Photo by Lukas Mykolaitis, 2018.
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Photo by Lukas Mykolaitis, 2018.
© Lukas Mykolaitis

In the eyes of a contemporary citizen, this tall building could be perceived as the equivalent of the offices or multifunctional buildings of the interwar Kaunas.The building housed various institutions: publishing houses and editorial offices associated with the leading party of Lithuania in the interwar period – the Nationalist Union (Tautininkai). Additional volumes of the building were laid out in the courtyard.

Modern Exterior and National Content

On the first floor, dedicated to commerce, there was a "Parama" store and a bookstore. This part of the building faces the avenue with almost hidden entrances, large and curved windows, designed to entice the buyer and replicating the volumes of the upper parts of the building. The other floors of the large building housed the "Pažanga" company itself, the editorial office of the newspaper "Lietuvos Aidas", the National Youth Union "Jaunoji Lietuva", and the Tautininkai Club. Also a restaurant was opened for general public in 1935. During the warm seasons it was using the terrace on a flat roof – it was one of the most beautiful panoramas overlooking the city.

The main facade is multidimensional and catches the eye with its play of light and shadows. Its geometricity is enlivened by a stepped fronton and balconies ornamented with triangles, zigzags and profiled edges according to folk art traditions interpreted in an art deco manner.

After the War

One of the most representative buildings of interwar Kaunas was nationalized and became the home of various research organizations and universities during the Soviet era. In 1989 the building was handed over to Vytautas Magnus University. The Faculty of Theology-Philosophy (later Catholic Theology) and various university services were located here. Even later, the Faculty of Catholic Theology was replaced by the Faculty of Arts.

In 2015 According to the decision of the European Commission, 44 objects of Kaunas interwar modernism architecture were awarded a European Heritage Label, including this building. Unfortunately, this title did not become an impetus for the revival of the place. The building was still standing unused for a long time and in 2019 it was sold in an auction.