Future Retreat

The International Summer School in Kaunas is inviting young professionals and students of architecture, history and heritage protection, sociology and related fields to explore the historical significance, cultural identity, and development potential of ‘the retreat’.

 

‘Retreat’ involves a change in physical, spatial and psychological conditions. This shift can be purposefully created, be designed or it can happen by chance, but in each case it becomes manifest in architecture. The architecture of retreat offers us conditions that are different from our daily routines and that exist in contrast to their urban alterity. Retreats are the places where we go to rest, relax, create and forget. They are crucially important to our health and well-being. But such spaces, which in the past were established in rural contexts, today have become absorbed into the fabric of cities or their expanding suburban areas, raising questions about the role of the retreat, the limits of the city, and their vital inter-relationship.

 

One of earliest examples of a spatially planned retreat is the mythical Hanging Gardens of Babylon, constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar II in the fifth century BC for his wife Queen Amytis, because she longed for the green hills and valleys of her homeland. All around the world, royal dynasties and members of the privileged ruling classes have since constructed summer palaces as places of retreat to escape the business that accompanies urban living. At the end of the 19th century, this luxury was increasingly extended to the public as a new typology emerged in the form of resort towns. It was the first time that urban retreats were purposely designed for the common people.

 

Retreat always implies an interrelation of two spaces – one that we come from and one that we go to. In this year’s Summer School we are going to focus on this vital interrelationship through the context of the city of Kaunas and the resort town Kačerginė. Using these two sites as living laboratories, we will explore questions of identity, modernist heritage and cultural value and propose how the retreat might coexist with the city in the future. Can historic resort towns be a model for the future of the retreat in the twenty-first century and beyond?

Previous Summer School 2018

Lecturers

Keynote

Sabine Storp
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Sabine Storp

The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL)

Edward Denison
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Edward Denison

The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL)

Team

Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė
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Viltė Migonytė-Petrulienė

Kaunas 2022

Žilvinas Rinkšelis
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Žilvinas Rinkšelis

Kaunas 2022

Andrius Ropolas
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Andrius Ropolas

Office De Architectura

Jautra Bernotaitė
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Jautra Bernotaitė

Office De Architectura

Paulius Vaitiekūnas
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Paulius Vaitiekūnas

Office De Architectura

Vaidas Petrulis
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Vaidas Petrulis

Kaunas University of Technology

Programme

The workshop will be a series of investigations into the past, present and future role of the resort town of Kačerginė and its changing relationship with the neighbouring modernist city of Kaunas. Participants will interrogate the concept of retreat by developing different methods of researching and recording, then translating these into a series of ‘Public Drawings’ and manifestos. Participants will receive instructions on how to develop these ideas through a method of drawing that exploits the potential and possibilities of the Axonometric. Each day will start with a special task to develop more precise explorations and readings at different scales. Participants will work on a base drawing and the rules of the drawing matter will be explained in steps. The outcome will be a series of 2D/3D drawings and manifestos that are tools to record and develop new propositions for the future of the retreat in an age of cultural, social and environmental change.

Detail program

Place of the Summer School

The strong smell of petrol, roaring noises and tons of metal sweeping through your face on 160 kilometers per hour… This is the standard image any given Lithuanian have in their mind when hearing the name of Kačerginė – the legendary rally track is just next to it. But years ago, Kačerginė was a flourishing little resort, where You could meet writers, doctors, architects and other intellectuals resting on their porches or walking by the river. During the Summer School we will experience all the most important dimensions of long-lost resort. Get ready to fall in love with local wooden modernism, dachas, abandoned camps, river and people… and making brand new ideas for a resort to be reborn.

Location

Map

Participants of the Summer School

We are happy to announce 24 selected participants of the International Summer School „Future Retreat“ coming from 12 countries: Turkey, India, United Kingdom, Greece, Austria, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Hong Kong, Croatia and Lithuania. All participants will be mixed in international as well as multidisciplinary teams, involving planners, architects, researchers, historians, conservators and so on. Teams will be composed of 6 students. The aim of the Summer School is to explore the historical significance, cultural identity, and development potential of ‘the retreat’.

Questions

If you need any information about the participants and the Summer School, please contact:

“Kaunas 2022” curator – vilte@kaunas2022.eu

“Kaunas 2022” coordinator – zilvinas@kaunas2022.eu

Selected participants

Organizers

Patrons

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