An Architectural Documentation of the Lithuanian Spirit (Nepalaužiama Tautos Dvasia)

NOTE: The written thesis prepared as a supplement to this design proposal is available for reading on the web:

This is a documentary about the initial architectural memorial concept for Lukiskiu Square (Lukiškių Aikštė) in Vilnius, Lithuania, designed by Julie Minkunas as a graduate student at The Catholic University of America 1995-1996. Its design is comprised of three parts: Sculptural Landscape, Exhibition Space, and Research Facility.

Part 1 of 2 is all in the English language (High resolution).
Part 2 of 2 is partially in the Lithuanian language and has Lithuanian subtitles; It and the original drawings with models were exhibited in Lithuania in 1997-1998 and 2007.

This memorial park was designed by Julie with the guidance of graduate thesis professor and then Dean at CUA's School of Architecture and Planning, Stanley Hallet, who also has led design studios exploring culture with regards to sacred space. This memorial park design won CUA's School of Architecture's Best of Thesis in 1996, and it was well received by Lithuania's then Prime Minister, prof. Vytautas Landsbergis, as well as admired by the former political prisoners (Lietuvos laisvės kovotojai) in 1997.

In this video, a team of three internationally recognized architects critique Julie’s design:

1. prof. Stanley Hallet - a graduate of Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT), worked with Peace Corps in Tunisia, is a distinguished author, Fulbright lecturer, and has led CUA's foreign architectural study tours in Europe and Northern Africa.

2. prof. Vytenis Gureckas - a graduate of Columbia University, previous Associate Dean of Architectural Graduate Studies at CUA , head of environmentally sustainable built graduate projects, and has guided CUA's architectural foreign studies in Europe.

3. prof. Travis Price - the director of the graduate concentration on Cultures and Sacred Space at the School of Architecture at CUA, author of a gold medal award winning book: “The Archaeology of Tomorrow: Architecture and the Spirit of Place (2006)”. He has been recognized for his pioneering contributions to environmentally sustainable architecture by The American Institute of Architects (AIA).

Although, in Lithuania, this idea was entered in a preliminary concept competition in 1995, and this project's drawings and models were entered in an architectural workshop series there in 2007, this design was NOT included in the other competitions in Lithuania that have since followed - because it is not meant to be presented as a competition entry for a monetary prize.

If this project would be realized, then it would be the first to metaphorically bring all Lithuanians together; The honored would be families of the victims of Nazi occupation, victims of the Soviet occupations, and it would honor the efforts of the Lithuanian Diaspora - Its purpose is to reunite the Lithuanian people and celebrate it's triumphs, for the world to see and remember, and learn from.

Fundraising for such a project would be necessary for its construction, though not impossible.

The building of this complex landscape and memorial would not only attract tourists, but also it would provide many jobs in construction to local Lithuanians, and therefore, it would help to boost Lithuania's economy.

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