The iconographic and graceful pinnacle of the tower that cuts through the horizon of the Neris riverside is one of the most recognisable symbols of modern-day Vilnius. The monumental architecture of the Scientist House is a real nugget of socialist realism.
From afar, passers-by are drawn to the elaborately decorated exterior, Neo-Baroque pediments and huge arched windows, but few locals know why the circumstances of how this building came about are so special. The Scientist House was erected at the very dawn of the Cold War, with the world’s major powers engaged in an arms race. It was for science and art workers that 50 large apartments were designed, very distinguished by their luxury for that period. The building had five double staircases, a main section and an auxiliary section with serviced staff, an industrial supply shop, tennis courts, a fountain, and even a grocery store for the convenience of the residents.
The Scientist House created an idyllic space for select Soviet citizens, but they were given an ultimatum in exchange – you’ll hear more about that on the Open House Vilnius tour.