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The design contest sought concept designs for Kaunas’ new €30m Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Concert Centre, a world-class modern concert venue that will also provide multi-functional spaces for conferences, congresses and symposia.
The design featured a volumetric composition of 3 new main components of different heights that are connected in a whole, individual yet well integrated parts. The idea to make a whole out of elements comes as a reference to the present character of the immediate surrounding that could be perceived as an ensemble of architectural and vegetal sedimentation over time. Moreover, this provides a high level of permeability and integration with the existing and proposed landscape of the site, achieving ease and comfort of access to the waterfront activities.

View from Lavizan Park



Kaunas, Lithuania


Kaunas City Municipality

Competition Organizer

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC)



Site Area

39,908 m2


2xmstudio srls

Moataz Faissal Farid (Partner), Saloumeh Behboud (Partner)

Contrast Designs

Kareem Hammouda, Mazin Abdulkareem, Tamer Nader, Sayed Mohsen & Mahmoud Fayez

Studio AMS

Massimo Salamone

Building Area

11,750 m2


Concept: Masterplan, Urban Design, Architectural Design, Landscape Design


Auditorium, Waterfront, Park, Cultural, Retail, Restaurant


Competition, Finalists


Cairo Design Award 2018 Silver Medal

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The integration of the building within the highly precious existing landscape was one of the major concerns of the project. Thus, the existing topography is fully respected and the interventions to it are minimal. The positioning of the building was done carefully and according to the great respect to the existing trees and only few of them are to be relocated in case of construction. The system of pedestrian paths on the waterfront is extended throughout the site east to west connecting all the different activity zones together. The bridge to Nemunas island in integrated in the patchwork of pedestrian routes enabling visitors to enjoy unrestricted movement through both sites. Underneath the restaurants volume a large water feature emerges creating an inner shaded water edge as part of the park experience. Besides absorbing flood water from the site, this water feature can be used as a pool during the summer and as a skating rink during the winter.




Waterfront View

Designed to have acoustic qualities of exceptional performance, the main concert hall will house approx. 1500 seats distributed between the main floor and 2 levels of back and side balconies in a standard shoebox arrangement. The hall will be equipped with state of the art equipment for sound and light, while the main stage is provided with side and rear stages, orchestra pit, and the possibility for a proscenium arch in case needed for theatre performances. Ease of access and escape routes were of utmost importance in the design of the hall, taking into consideration the different levels of the hall and the building. The interior walls of the hall are made up of horizontal bands of wood with incorporated indirect lighting.
While on the other hand, the secondary hall is built upon the idea of becoming a flexible performance space, which could be easily adapted into different settings and arrangements. A simple wall treatment of wood is also used. Taking advantage of the local timber industry that is a thriving part of the Lithuanian economy, the project proposes to use locally sourced and produced wood as the primary material for the interior walls of both halls. This readily available material will ensure a small carbon footprint and impact on the environment.


Plan at Ground Level

Longitudinal Section

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Aerial View Looking West

Interior View of Secondary Music Hall


Interior View of Main Foyer

Interior View of Main Foyer


Project Layers

The project shall perform a sustainability strategy that is replicable in other plots or projects and shall act as a regenerator of the neighbourhood as a smart zero-energy neighbourhood, taking it from an industrial area into a clean environment friendly neighbourhood.
Public Transport: The project encourages access and use of public transport and clean energy transport such as cycling and solar powered boats. Also a new proposed public transport hub is proposed on the south eastern edge of the site to connect with the existing transportation network and decrease dependency on cars.

Nature & Biodiversity: The proposal shall minimize its impact on existing plant species, birds and other natural elements to maintain the balance and biological diversity of the site.

Parking & Land Use: The project aims to minimize surface parking to the minimum to avoid unnecessary heat island effect, and to make better use of ground surface green areas.

Rain Water Collection & Storage: The site shall contain a rain water collection and storage system to be used for the water needs of the building and park. The water feature under the restaurants volume shall be used to absorb flooding water and to cool off the site during the summer.

Flexibility of Uses & Activities: The design and location of the cores allow the programmatic contents of the building to be adjusted not only in terms of location, but also proportionally – in relation to one another – without disrupting the basic legibility and civilized use of the building.



Maximizing Natural Ventilation & Daylight: The use of large openings towards the south and western facades as well as operable skylights in areas of the building where the volume depth is large facilitate the optimization of potential benefits of natural daylight and ventilation, sky exposure as well as passive and active solar heat gain.

Zero Energy General Concept: The building will use a number of technologies to reach a zero energy goal that include: PV cells and biofuel for energy generation, grey water treatment for plant watering, river water use for district cooling/heating.

Heat Control Strategy: The building will control heat gain and heat loss by utilizing its orientation to the sun path, as well as the use of high performance insulation, efficient heat recovery systems and a high level of acoustic performance for the concert halls.