Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis, Vol 8, No 1 (2016)

Historical, Social and Aesthetical Discourse in the Architecture of Vilnius Fountains

Antanas Stančius (Klaipėda University, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Lithuania)


This article attempts to review connections between Vilnius city culture and water, as an architectural mean. It aims to determine social and aesthetical aspects of water in development of Vilnius architecture in the context of cultural flux and changing urbanistic concepts. The main research methods are the interpretation of texts, historical reflection and analysis of cartographic material. In Vilnius architecture, water reflects functional principles and artistic conceptions of various historical periods. The usage of water as an aesthetic means was commenced in Renaissance Vilnius sculpture fountains. During the Soviet period, regardless of the heritage and historical traditions, geometrically developed city structure destroyed individual character and aesthetic charm. By absolutizing of geometric forms, modern urbanists deprived the city of life and individuality. Aesthetic value of water had been annulled and fountains were designed solely on the basis of technical and ideological considerations. In the discourse of modern Lithuanian urbanism, return to the aesthetic dimension of water is observed along with innovative management schemes and technologies, ecology and art. In the conclusion it is revealed, that throughout history, it has formed only weak link between water and cultural identity. This resulted, that water, as architectural tool for social influence, was used more by external forces, rather than for internal Lithuanian cultural purposes. In the meantime, the discourse is forming, which could result in future developments of the issue.

Article in: Lithuanian

Article published: 2016-04-28

Keyword(s): water; architecture; aesthetics; fountains of Vilnius; urban culture; urbanization.

DOI: 10.3846/mla.2016.874

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Science – Future of Lithuania / Mokslas – Lietuvos Ateitis ISSN 2029-2341, eISSN 2029-2252
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