TJD 03 - 23 - 2010

Vilnius Cathedral Square: Analysis During the early 19th century, Vilnius Cathedral was located in the city center. Surrounding the church were places for vendors to sell and buy goods. A prominent bell tower also signifies this space. The tower was originally part of the city wall to provide fortification. Also, the height and cylindrical form of the tower enables visitors to locate the plaza or Cathedral from a distance. Also, the plaza is located within a short walking distance of Neris River. This prime location made the square useful to transport goods from the river during the 19th century. Today, the river has become a major attraction for visitors in Vilnius. Streetscapes are designed to enhance the experience of enjoying transitioning corridors between the river and plaza. The scale of the plaza is also significant to the design of the space. The design of the grand plaza enables the church to have a sense of separation from surrounding structures. Further, the construction of a perimeter wall around the city served as security and division from enemies. The grid paving pattern of the plaza also signifies the perimeter wall of the town as defining spaces. The orientation of the plaza assists with creating a successful space for community members. The plaza is located to the south of Vilnius Cathedral. Therefore, this ensures shade is at a minimum in the plaza. This increases the functionality of the plaza throughout the year. Also, the plaza is oriented in an east to west relationship with the Cathedral. This creates a link of contrasting interior with exterior spaces. From a plan view, the Cathedral has a short height in proportion to a long width. This is a similar design characteristic of the plaza. Behind the Cathedral, there is a statue commemorating an influential historical leader. Walking to the figure through the long and narrow plaza space has similar qualities of Vilnius Cathedral. Similarly, the Cathedral is also oriented as a long narrow space to create focus to the altar. Cathedral Square is also designed with principles of hierarchy. The plaza is on ground level followed with the Cathedral and bell tower on an elevated level. The organization suggests the Cathedral has a higher sense of importance than the plaza. Bottom Left: Site Plan Bottom Right: Sketch of Vilnius Cathedral and Bell Tower

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