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2013 08 14 - 17: Kalviai - Diary of Travelling Architecture Workshops | 14

SEP 2013

If you go up high you can see very far, and when you go down to the lake you can watch it evaporate in the morning, and turn into smoke in the evening. Kalviai hills, hiding-places, “headquarters” and “bunkers” are here, in this place.


Kids’ endless enthusiasm, laughter and games had accompanied us during the whole creative process and work in Kalviai, a small village in Kaisiadorys district, where the non-commercial educational project Travelling Architecture Workshop was held on August 14-17.


It is indeed very beautiful in Kalviai. There is a lake and a classical style rotunda shaped St. Anthony of Padua Church, built in 1800 (the very first of its kind in Lithuania), the village itself is beautifully landscaped. However, traditional questions of “where, how, what and most importantly why we’re going to do”, still arrive.


Kids and teenagers with the average age of 10, gathered together in the village stadium and started to introduce themselves because some of them stayed in Kalviai only for a summer break. The process of getting to know each other was full of action and adventure as usual mainly because kids were tireless and funny as bunnies with batteries. The first dilemma of where to build a project tent arrived after playing a few games. Even though kids were not happy to hear a word ‘school’ during their holidays, we all decided that Kalviai school with a stadium nearby was standing in such an amazing landscape that our tent just had to be built there and shelter us from wind and summer heat.


Sitting under the tent, kids were drawing maps and later we all went to look around for hidden treasures of the village. There was a plenty of them starting from the lake island, old farms, a quarry, a small plash surrounded by trees which is a home to a single carp. However, the best was just where we stood – an old basement, overgrown with grass and now looking as a small hill, and a little shade of trees which kids called “a bunker’.


With a help of village people we were able to find some old pipes, a few wooden pallets and a pile of wood plates so a big work named “a bunker with a periscope” had started. Some kids were coloring, some were hammering, some were running for materials, and that was how, after some games, fights and making peace, we had finally built a little house with periscope and a slide. Everybody agreed that the house needed a name, so please come to visit “Kalviaskopas” whenever you are in Kalviai.


While you are trying out a new bench on the hill, you have no idea that on the other side of the playground a serious business is going on. There kids are climbing, swinging, crawling, jumping from ropes to swings and after such an exercise most of them are resting on the hay-filled bags. Some of them are eating apples but not littering anymore because the big bin has been designed. Almost half of participants were involved in the design process so the red and light blue colors of the bin could say that there were kids hiding there and eating apples.


When everything calms downs, and kids fall asleep, the “headquarters” of the hill wishes good night for the “bunker”, and this is how, looking at each other, they are waiting for the next morning when kids arrive again and play till sun goes down.


Kalviai (Kaisiadorys district)


August 14-17, 2013


RESULT: “Headquaters”: a play-house with a periscope, a slide and a bench. “Bunker”: ropes for climbing, swings, ladders, hay-filled sitting bags, a little table and a trash bin.


VOLUNTEERS: Karolina Štreimikytė, Algimantas Grigas, Mantas Timaitis, Goda Galdikaitė, Julija Gulbinovič, Viktorija Baliukonytė, Rūta Jakštaitė, Michail Vereško.


IN-PLACE COORDINATOR: Lina Brazionienė. 


PARTICIPANTS: more than 20 local and visiting cheerful kids.


Travelling Architecture Workshop - the first large-scale project by Architecture [Children] Fund, which took place in 2013 during the summer holidays. It aims to draw children and village residents attention to the everyday human environment. The project seeks to demonstrate that to take care of the public environment and to foster real changes could be done without a lot of material and human resources.


Architecture [Children] Fund is a volunteering based initiative that develops and implements educational programs for children and youth about architecture and living enviroment.