Vilnius Guggenheim Hermitage Museum is a proposed art museum in the city of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. On April 8 2008 an international jury named Zaha Hadid, a British-Iraqi architect, the winner of the international design competition for the museum. The museum is scheduled to open in 2011.
It is estimated that the museum may cost up to 170 million litas (75 million USD). Completion is scheduled for 2011. A feasibility study is being conducted to explore various aspects of the project's implementation, including market and economic impact analyses.
Daniel Libeskind, winner of the competition to rebuild the World Trade Center, presented his work under the name "Nexus" (see Daniel Libeskind's visualization). According to Libeskind, his concept links the history of Vilnius to its present via a Connection. He stated that "This connection is revealed through the structure, which with its wide and slashing arcades covers history and innovation, old panoramas and new skyscrapers, the city and the Neris river". Libeskind also asserted the need to connect nature and architecture: "Tightness between landscape, which turns to building, and building, which converts to landscape, ravels unheard possibility to create a sculptural form, which opens to visitor".
The dominant features of Massimiliano Fuksas' project are crossed domes, which leave an impression of movement (see Massimiliano Fuksas' visualization). According to Fuksas, huge "eyes" looking into the sky would point and filter daylight into the building. Fuksas asserted that such design principles would allow "visitors to clearly distinguish the exposition halls from other spaces - restaurants and shops - and provide comfortable access to the river." The center of the building would be reserved for permanent Mekas and Mačiūnas collections.
Zaha Hadid, a Pritzker Prize winner, proposed a "mystical object, hovering over spindled artificial landscape strip" (see Zaha Hadid's visualization). She chose to draw a contrast between the building's forms and the vertical forms of nearby skyscrapers. The top of the building reflects surroundings of the Vilnius city. Hadid asserted that "It is especially important today to acknowledge cultural buildings, that they have unique and special morphologies. Those buildings should make an impression on people, people should accept them."
The director of the Hermitage Museum Mikhail Piotrovsky, the director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Thomas Krens, the director of Frankfurt's Museum of Architecture Peter Schmal, and the vice-chairman of the Lithuanian Architects Union, Gintaras Čaikauskas, were members of the jury that evaluated the designs. Lithuanian Prime Minister Gediminas Kirkilas and Vilnius Mayor Juozas Imbrasas also participated in the decision-making process.