Bernardine Complex: Charrette Proceedings and Project Report

During the summer of 1995, the Archdiocese of Lithuania, in conjunction with St. John’s University in New York and World Monuments Fund, hosted an international charrette to plan for the conservation and adaptive re-use of the Bernardine Complex, located in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Old Town, Vilnius. Comprised of the former Church of St. Michael, the old convent buildings and workshops of the Bernardine sisters, the Sapiega Palace, and a central courtyard, the key elements of the Complex were constructed for members of the Bernardine order during the 14th and 15th centuries. At the time of the charrette, most of the Complex remained in good condition, though the roof of the old convent needed repair. This report is devoted to the results of the charrette, proposing architectural and programming plans to transform the Complex into a multi-purpose cultural center, including educational and administrative spaces as well as a café and shops for an anticipated cost of $4.7 million over the course of three years.

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