In terms of style, Lithuanian interwar architecture was dominated by rather conservative traditions which were quite far apart from the advanced ideas of European schools. V. Landsbergis-Žemkalnis accurately described it as “classical rhythm of monumental construction in a modern form”. It seems that modern aesthetics were not very welcomed by the society either. For example, in 1932, after the real estate crisis had settled down, Lietuvos Aidas newspaper wrote: “All new homes lack elaboration and a common style. It might be modern but it adds nothing to the city’s scenery“.
Nevertheless, a gymnasium in Telšiai, a research laboratory in Kaunas and many other residential houses demonstrated that the professionals were far from being confined by a narrow mindset. The draft of Adelė and Paulius Galauniai house shows that the modernist thought did not bypass older architects either. A. and P. Galauniai museum stores two different copies of the draft of the house in Kaunas on Vydūnas Avenue, drawn up approximately at the end of the twenties. Although the date of the project is not indicated, given the final draft approval date (1932), we can assume that they were developed some time earlier.
A three-story rotunda standing out in one of the drafts can be characterised as one of the most mesmerising solutions in modernist Lithuanian architecture. The top part of the tower had an office room, while on the roof there was a huge terrace. It is easy to note that the project resembles works of Russian constructivists. Another interesting fact is that the house was designed as a mixed-use object – the first floor was designed to have not only a lobby (in the rotunda), a garage, a janitor room and auxiliary facilities, but also three large shops with showcase windows.
Beata Baranauskienė, Vaidas Petrulis