Wednesday, November 22, 2006


To the left you see the former Vilnius Municipality building on its way to becoming a shopping centre. I was a bit surprised to see it like this, and three things in particular surprised me:
1) before the roof was tiled rather than this cheap and nasty tin roof,
2) I am sure the roof shape did not have the kink in it, quite apart from the teddy-bear's ears
3) I am sure there is more 'stuff' (stucco, ornamentation) above the windows than there was before (unless it had fallen off in Soviet times).
The big shop windows at ground floor level are excusable, I suppose.

However, I ask myself what are the rules for building preservation? I am not sure how old the building was in the first place, but all that frilly stuff above the windows gives it a history which it may not in fact have. (But I suppose the Victorians in the UK also used this approach.) I would have expected it to be a listed building, to be renovated with some sympathy.

The building belongs to an Irish consortium, and amongst others Marks and Spencers will move into it. I wonder who the designing architect is. Modern Lithuanian architects are pretty good (though there are also some excrescences following the request of owners lacking in taste). British architects can be very good, but I suppose not everyone is a Norman Foster. This looks more like vernacular architecture according to the Queen's oldest son.