Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture

This 19th-century wooden building is a treasure of Vilnius’ historical wooden architecture. Despite its beauty, the building had been left abandoned for decades, leading to its significant deterioration. In 2019, Vilnius City Municipality decided to establish the Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture in the building and restore this architectural gem to its former glory. The project to establish the museum and restore the building was funded by the European Union and the Vilnius City Municipality.

Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture, Vilnius, LITHUANIA

During the restoration, specialists aimed to preserve the building’s authenticity as much as possible, retaining 80% of the exterior decoration elements and 70% of the authentic walls and structures. The interior wall decoration was preserved and partially restored in accordance with polychrome research results. Where elements of the building did not survive, specialists replaced them with elements from other demolished wooden buildings to reduce the use of new materials. The restoration work was carried out by an interdisciplinary team, including woodworkers, polychrome researchers and restorers.

Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture, Vilnius, LITHUANIA

The Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture includes an exhibition which connects the past, present and future of urban wooden architecture, revealing how wooden architecture is an integral part of a sustainable and environmentally-friendly city. The museum also established a consultation centre to help owners and residents of wooden buildings in Vilnius learn how to maintain and preserve their homes in a way that is sustainable and historically sensitive.

Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture, Vilnius, LITHUANIA

Since its opening, the museum has become a meeting point for the people of the district, and its initiatives have promoted and raised awareness among citizens of the protection of wooden heritage. The consultation centre has already helped around 100 citizens with questions related to the maintenance and restoration of wooden buildings. The museum also has a workshop where citizens can work on the architectural elements of their wooden houses. The centre has created a contact base of craftsmen and masters who work with wooden buildings, published a catalogue of architectural wooden elements in Vilnius and organised an international conference on issues related to contemporary wooden architecture.

“The restoration of the building that houses the Museum of Urban Wooden Architecture is particularly significant given the delicate conservation of the materials used in its construction. The building’s restoration also improved the heating and cooling system, ensuring the preservation of the building for future generations. The museum’s focus on wooden architecture also promotes public engagement with the country’s heritage”, the Awards’ Jury said.

“The project is important for Lithuania due to the country and the wider region’s long tradition of wooden architecture. The careful restoration, using high-level craftsmanship and authentic techniques, helps ensure the continuation of these skills. Additionally, the project has revealed gaps in national fire safety regulations for wooden buildings, and the knowledge gained has been passed on to authorities to facilitate the adaptation of other wooden buildings to contemporary needs. The building, now a museum and community centre, has a symbolic value and serves as an example for other similar buildings in Vilnius and beyond”, the Jury concluded.

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Contact: Indrė Užuotaitė | |