Lijo Hotel

Type: Hotel
Status: Built
Area: 1500 m²
Year: 2008
Location: Gargždai, Lithuania
Team: Andrė Baldišiūtė, Lukas Rekevičius, Milda Rekevičienė, Saulius Bulavas
Collaboration: AKETURI ARCHITEKTAI, Paleko Arch Studjia

A versatile design solution combined with innovative management transforms an undervalued monolith into a dynamic hotel, café, restaurant and gallery – a constant hub of activity. The building has a long a colourful history – its strong connection with the neighbouring park had even been valued by the celebrated Norwegian pop artist Pushwagner, who chose the building as his secret hideaway and creative outlet place. After years of neglect, however, the building had fallen into a state of disrepair, becoming a massive eyesore in the town. Two big cuts are made into the old building, breaking its intimidating mass and blending it better with the low-density buildings of the surrounding town. Black timber cladding covers both the exterior walls and roof of the otherwise traditional volume, merging traditional materials with modern technologies to create a building with a contemporary appearance at a human scale. The dark exterior forms a background to the playful coloured frames that surround the windows and doors of the building, alluding to/referencing the buildings colourful past. The hotels interior, in contrast, displays a light Scandinavian aesthetic and cosy homely atmosphere, something that is enhanced by the warm hospitality of its owners Daina and Dainius. The building’s new function has further reinforced its connection to the park and town, turning it into the unofficial cultural centre of Gargždai.