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Pienocentras Office Building

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

An icon of Lithuanian Modernist Architecture, an example of beauty revealed in simplicity, this building earned a bronze medal and honorary diploma in a 1937 world exhibition held in Paris and called "Exposition International des Arts et des Techniques". The road towards final design of the building was led through painstaking searches reflected in a multitude of architectural sketches. The harmony of horizontal and vertical elements, the rhythm of details, and the flawless proportions created a laconic image whose effect is enhanced by a curved corner facade with curved windows and illuminated glass rootlet separating the first storey, with walls of black labradorite, devoted to commerce and divided by shop-windows.

The building is an example of multifunctional architecture of interwar Kaunas. In addition to the shops and administrative offices of "Pienocentras" company, the building also housed the most famous hair salon of Muraliai brothers and luxurious apartments on the top floors.

At the beginning of the occupation, the building was nationalized. For many years it went to various scientific institutions: from 1946 the Academy of Agriculture moved here, and since 1964 Kaunas Polytechnic Institute (later Kaunas University of Technology) was placed here. In 2018 the building was sold at auction. 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.