The urban hill of Vilnius is the new city-shaping “skyscraper district” on the right shore of Neris.
This river territory between the current Žaliasis Bridge and Geležinis Vilkas Bridge could have looked completely different. In 1960, it was planned to turn this area into an apartment block building district, much like Žirmūnai. But in 1964, architects Algimantas Nasvytis, Vytautas Čekanauskas and Vytautas Brėdikis prepared a vision that determined the development of a footpath starting at St Rapolas church, a shopping centre CUP and hotel Lietuva, which at the time was the tallest building of Lithuania and the pioneer of the future sky-scrapper district. The public and the commercial function of the right shore of the river established itself right there and then. For six decades, this territory was and remains the battle field of ideas, ambitions and mismatching interests. One example of many unrealised projects is the bridge of A. Nasvytis, which was attempted in the 1980s and was meant to have an artificial peninsula and a lagoon; and ten years ago, another attempt was a Guggenheim museum, a project prepared by the studio of Zaha Hadid. Some of the new projects, like K18b, are still sparking discussions to this day.
This is one of the less traditional objects of Open House Vilnius, which invites you to not only look at individual buildings but look at the history of how the idea of the Vilnius urban hill originated and was accomplished.