Lojoteka. This Educational Media Centre provides a modern cognitive and educational space for the gymnasium community and related public. Lojoteka expands the boundaries of a typical school library, being a modern cognitive and educational space that promotes creativity. The media centre comprises a book depository, a reading room, spaces for conferences, meetings and leisure, audio, video and photography studios, cosy rooms for individual and group work, the Jesuit Library's catalogue room as well as an outdoor terrace. It is a modern, open and functional space easily adjusted for individual or group learning process, educational experiments, cosy gatherings, self-development, communication and meaningful leisure.
Located in the Old Town of Vilnius, the new building of the Media Centre (by Old Town Architects) is embedded between the Church of St. Casimir and the Gymnasium, belonging to the ensemble of buildings of the Vilnius Jesuit Monastery.
The spatial identity of historical libraries, re-created by modern means, is supplemented with functions relevant to modern education. Bookshelves are arranged along the perimeter of the building. To form the spatial structure not only the perimeter is used, but also the vertical spatial connections: book pits, which strengthen the character of space to create functionally and emotionally different spaces of presence. The bookshelves display a small part of the Mission Stop collection (Misijų stotelė). Mission Stop is a collection of books, magazines, letters, audio and video exhibits, exotic utensils and other artifacts related to various cultures as well as to the activities of Lithuanian missionaries around the world, collected by Father Antanas Saulaitis SJ and his friends and associates over more than half a century. When searching for books, one may also get acquainted with the exhibits and the background of their finding. The collection can be regularly updated.
Looking at the Library from the outside, it looks as if the building is made of shelves full of books.
Student space. The basement makes a functional connection with other buildings of the ensemble (the Church and the Gymnasium).
The basement spaces are intended for students’ self-development. All spaces are functionally connected by artistic media studios (photography, video, sound). Taking into account the existing spatial structure of the facility, more open spaces are used as an independent zone of students' self-development, while closed rooms are intended for media studies.
Community space. The lower floor of the library is intended for the activities of both the students, the Jesuits and the public, so the space is multifunctional, easily adaptable to various activities: meetings, presentations, conferences, reading books. Stationary work spaces of different types are arranged around the multifunctional space. Some of them are only partially open, so they can function regardless of how the role of the central zone changes.
Workspace. Unlike the lower floor, this space is stationary, adapted to its main function of quiet work. A free sitting or reading area is formed at the entrance, while the farther side of the space offers areas for group work and reading. The bays between the lower and the upper floors have mesh partitions, creating yet another zone for reading or just to stay in. At the same time, the visual connection between both floors and the view through the skylights is preserved as they all overlook the Church of St. Casimir. In this way a direct connection between history and the modern setting is created.
The definition of the building functions resulted from creative workshops with the school community represented by about a hundred gymnasium members. The community involvement in the process of implementation and vitalization continues in developing Lojoteka's visual identity and through various activities, thought-out and realized by the gymnasium students.
Project type: Interior
Area: 943 m²
Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Team: Laura Malcaitė, Dmitrij Kudin, Marija Stonytė, Karolina Jašinskaitė, Rūta Kazėnaitė
Photographs: Norbert Tukaj