Zaliakalnis Villa Garden, Kaunas
(involved in house renovation)
Patricija Grabauskaite, Asta Grabauskiene, Ausra Lekauskaite
Nestled in Zaliakalnis, an oak- and maple-covered, historically significant area of Kaunas, and overlooking the city, the site is surrounded by modernist interwar architecture which was considerably influenced by the modernist movement in Western Europe, and boasts the neighborhood where the most prominent Lithuanian culture figures lived. Though not being enlisted, the house bears the architectural style and elements which seamlessly connect it with the heritage houses and give a historical character.
Under renovation of the house, it was decided that the old garden needed both an uplift and some new structures - a swimming pool, a pergola, and steps down to the orchard, to the lowest part of the site. The site imposed many challenges - it had a slope rising up to 15 meters, a difficult access from the street upstairs, and was all the way surrounded by mature trees and lush greenery. However, the aim was to make all the needed adjustments as delicate as possible while maintaining the natural feel of the setting.
Due to its mountainous, picturesque and sunny position, the garden has been imbued with a Mediterranean mood, so that the atmosphere would resemble the one you can find in warm, rustic, historical Italian towns. The pastel, rusty and subdued hues of smelling roses, herbs and other perennials, the additional shrubs and trees for the background as well as the subtle, rich textures of the new materials helped to create a dreamy and warm sanctuary for all the senses and to link the site to the surrounding landscape.