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Architect: Vladas Balsys
Sculptor: Mindaugas Lukosaitis
Form: Competition (3st place).
Competition organizer: student fellowship Alumni of the Vilnius University (VU SSAD).
Adress: Vilnius, Lithuania.
Date: 2011
White color has different meanings in different cultures; however, in Europe this color is associated with cleanness, luck, joy, life, purity, clarity, nobility and wisdom. Alumni represent these qualities.

The symbol of the arch in the Christian culture means heavenly gate and salvation (Church, Noe’s arch). Other meanings: mother’s womb, safe or sacred place. Arch is a gateway connecting two worlds and it is a transition from one state to another.

University students walk through the arch and come back again through the arch already as alumni (Latin alumni).

The inscription on both sides in the lower part of arch says ALUMNI ("students” in Lithuanian). Latin language has a special meaning in the history of European science. People of the academic environment know this word and it has a deep tradition of its use. The tradition of use of the form of "alumnai" was adapted at Vilnius University and has started in the XIV century. The underlying Latin word ALUMNI was chosen for an universal and multicultural context. Lithuanian font ”Palemonas” was chosen for the inscription. This font is exceptional because it was designed especially for the use at Vilnius University and the general public.
The space between the University Sarbievijus yard and the Library yard distinguish in several aspects.

High – the space was a result of two high buildings that were merged.

Fragmented – the middle arch divides the space into two visually separate parts.

Symmetrical – symmetry was gained through the three arches: outside arches divide the passage space from University Street and Sarbievijus inner yard while the middle arch divides of the passage into equal parts.
Two side arches visually integrate buildings into a coherent ensemble but at the same time they make yards of Library and Sarbiejus look more closed. In the current context the middle arch is the least highlighted and it’s architectural part does not have a vivid aesthetic function. The essence of this project is not to introduce new objects but to create a new space and filling it with minimalistic solutions. The middle arch was chosen for this purpose and it is significant as alimni arch and a work of art. This is how the middle arch becomes a meaningful object and it is given slightly different physical and aesthetical features, requirements of monument protection and furthermore it maintains integrity of architectural ensemble of Vilnius University.

The arch would be exceptional for its surface which distinguishes with its subtle texture, white color and precise smoothness. Thus emerging of any additional objects is avoided in the University space which is monumental and important. It is advised to illuminate the arch in the dark or the day, thus providing a representative exclusiveness to the work of art in the setting of architectural ensemble of Vilnius University.
•   Project review.

© Vladas Balsys / 2007-2012