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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 7, February 17, 2008, Article 33

LITHUANIA'S BIG BANKNOTE BUILDING

[The Baltic Times this week published an article about a
building designed to look like one of the country's banknotes.
I've heard of money art, but money architecture?  Plenty of
buildings have decorative elements that may mimic coins of
money symbols, but until now I'd never heard of an entire
building.  Who built it, Scrooge McDuck?  Read on to find
out, and be sure to click on the article link to see a
picture of the building. -Editor]

They say that money doesn't grow on trees. Well, in Kaunas it
grows on buildings. Earlier, if tourists ever bothered to
visit Lithuania's dog-eared interwar capital at all, it was
to see the Italian Baroque majesty of Pazaislis or quirky
Old Town highlights such as the Thunder House and the White
Swan. Now, however, a contender for the title of oddest
Kaunas tourist attraction of 2008 is Office Center 1000.

A curvaceous, luminous, 10-floor office building designed
in the form of a LTL 1,000 banknote, Office Center 1000 is
being touted locally as one of the Baltic region's most
daring and original construction projects. The exterior is
virtually finished, but the interior will only be fully
completed in June. That's when the lucky companies that
have signed up for this Class A office space will be able
to move in.

Jonas Plenta, marketing manager of Urmas, the company
behind the project, insists that the new structure is not
simply a mighty monument to the power of money.

“At around the same time we were assessing some of the design
projects for a new office building in 2005, Lithuania was
one of two new EU member states applying to join the euro
zone. We happened to come across a very elegant banknote
dating from 1926, and decided to use it as our overall theme.”

The exterior consists of 4,500 different pieces of glass with
enamel designs, which are being slotted together like a giant
jigsaw puzzle. The glass was made in the Netherlands and
shipped over, and it can, Plenta assures, withstand even the
most extreme Lithuanian weather.

Acclaimed Dutch artist Rob Borgmann, managing director of
Glass Printing International and a specialist of the
“screenprinting” technique of placing images on glass for
use in building facades, gave valuable advice on the Kaunas
project. He previously worked on bold architectural projects
such as the multicolored Netherlands Institute for Sound
and Vision near Amsterdam.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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