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  • “EIKA Development” takes on a new project: a new hotel in Utena

    UAB “Translinija”, in cooperation with real estate development company “EIKA Development”, is taking up a new project – it plans to build a hotel with a restaurant, a conference centre and a SPA area in Utena. The hotel, which will be built on J. Basanavičius Street, on the site of a former bank, is planned to be completed in 2026.

    The former bank building will be turned into a hotel

    The new hotel and restaurant will be housed in two buildings. The bank building, which dates back to 1933, will house administrative premises, a restaurant and two VIP apartments. The Bank of Lithuania building, designed by renowned interwar modernist architects Arnas Funkas and Mykolas Songaila, is listed in the Register of Cultural Property, so the structure and layout of the premises in this part of the building will be minimally altered, preserving the building’s valuable features.

    According to the owner of the project, Valdas Trinkūnas, the Head of “Translinija”, the project was prompted by the lack of high-level accommodation in Utena and his personal connection to the city. ‘The local municipality and the industry have been talking about the need for a hotel for a long time, but until now the plans have remained unrealised. The fact that I myself am a boy from Utena has also contributed to this,’ says Trinkūnas, explaining the reasons behind his decision to take on the project. The entrepreneur is happy that Utena has preserved the original architecture of the building for over a century and hopes that after the reconstruction it will become a place of attraction for the city’s visitors and citizens.

    UAB “EIKA Development” is responsible for the project management. “We are delighted to be invited by UAB “Translinija” to contribute our knowledge and experience to the conversion of this unique building in Utena. We believe that together we will not only add value to the future SPA hotel, but also encourage some people to visit the beautiful city of Utena,” says Martynas Žibūda, CEO of “EIKA Development”.

    Reflections of the old building in the new architecture

    The historic building will be connected to the new part of the building by a two-level glass gallery and an underground connection, which will be built on the site of a bank annex built in the 1980s.

    The five-storey building will have 46 rooms, designed by the architectural studio “Archispektras”. The basement will contain support rooms, a spa area and a gym. The architecture of the facade of the new building is in line with the old bank building. The graphic design of the facade emphasises verticality and the proportions of the windows are similar to those of the interwar building.

    The planned extension is taller than the existing bank building, but it is set back so that the bank building is not obstructed or otherwise overshadowed on J. Basanavičius Street when viewed from all the main viewpoints. According to the architects’ plan, the new extension to the bank will create a non-dominant background development. In addition, the old building will be mirrored in the facade of the new building.

    Authentic elements in the new interior

    Aušra Gvildienė, the architect and project manager of “Archinova”, who prepared the project for the renovation of the old building, has been familiar with the site since 2006, when the building was being renovated.

    She is pleased that the main volume of the modernist building has been perfectly preserved over time. ‘What saved this building was that it did not change its function or use. It has always been a bank.’

    A. Gvildienė said that the original granite stucco facade and the plasterwork of the interior walls will be preserved during the reconstruction of the building. The roof of the building is to be covered with ceramic tiles of the Marseille type typical of the early 20th century. ‘The original tin roof turrets were never red, they were grey, and we will recreate this colour. The rainwater drainage system will be made of galvanised sheet metal,’ comments A. Gvildienė.

    The builder undertakes to preserve the elements of the interior of the former bank that are included in the Register of Cultural Heritage: the concrete mosaic floor, the marble columns, the oak doors, the staircase handrails, the tambour walls, the brass grilles, some of the furniture, and other authentic details. ‘If I were to go to Utena and visit the former bank, I would definitely want to see the historical elements that have survived. One of them is the consoles in the main hall – the walls separating the staff. Most of them are well preserved, but some will have to be restored because they are damaged. Authentic sofas and tables will also be restored. I think they can be integrated perfectly into the future restaurant. We are planning to create a tasting room in the former bank vault’, says A. Gvildienė.