Ričardas Krištapavičius

Ričardas Krištapavičius, catalogue code VAM-9

Although the word “artist” was included into the title of the profession of an architect due to peculiarities of the Soviet era (at that time it was forbidden to have several schools of architecture in one republic, thus Vilnius Institute of Art covered the noble name of an architect with an additional title of an artist), but this combination describes the works of Ričardas Krištapavičius particularly well.
Born on 4 June 1958 in Glūkas village of Varėna District, Ričardas Krištapavičius grew up on the other side of Lithuania in Nida. He acquired the profession of an architect (1975-1980) at Lithuanian State Institute of Art (currently Vilnius Academy of Art). After graduation he worked as an architect at the City Construction Planning Institute for nine years, in 1989, when the Institute was replaced by the UAB Jungtinės arhitektų dirbtuvės, he continued to work there up to 1993. In 1993 he was invited to work as the head architect in his hometown Nida, where he worked up to 1999. As of 1999 he founded R. Krištapavičius’ Planning Company, which operated up to 2004. As of 2005 he works as an architect at the closed joint stock company Baltas fonas.
In his work R. Krištapavičius has revealed himself as a creative multifaceted personality. L. Kahn has said that people must think in metaphors. In essence, the creative work of R. Krištapavičius is based on metaphors, enriched Baltic and Christian, as well as his own symbols. Thus his works cannot be evaluated from the perspective of the accuracy of forms. In order to fully appreciate R. Krištapavičius’ works, one needs to get acquainted with the measures he uses and use that as an alphabet.
It is only natural that the majority of his buildings consists of churches. The first of them, built in 1999, but created back in 1988, is the Church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ignalina (created together with the designer Vincas Dineika). The author was awarded with a diploma of the former Architects’ Association of the USSR (!) for the “Best Project of 1988”. When planning the church he intertwined the traditional shape of a Greek cross with a triangular apse, which is usually shaped like a half-circle. On the outside this part becomes similar to the prow of the ship, which is an obvious reference to Noah’s ark. From 1988 to 1996 the architect has realised a total of 6 sacral buildings. Some of their altars were created by famous Lithuanian artists: the sculptor Stanislovas Kuzma or the stained-glass master prof. Kazimieras Morkūnas. Interestingly, the architect manages to include secular symbolism in sacral buildings as well. For example, the construction of the Church of St Casimir in Klaipėda contains the silhouettes of towers, which are a part of the coat of arms of Klaipėda city.
Another field of R. Krištapavičius’ successful work is monuments. One of them – the monument for the Bishop Antanas Baranauskas in Anykščiai (created together with the sculptor A. Sakalauskas in 1992-1993) – was awarded with Lithuanian National Culture and Arts Prize. However, the artist himself thinks that his most important and the most significant work is the Sundial-calendar on Parnidis dune in Nida (built together with the sculptor K. Pudymas, astronomical calculations were made by L. Klimka, 1984, rebuilt in 2011). This is a synthesis of various symbols: runes mark the days and hours, the spiral – the expression of the cycles of life, etc.
What also makes the object unique is that both on the west and on the east lies an absolute mathematical horizon. One can observe the sun rising from the Curonian Lagoon and setting into the Baltic Sea. This is the only place in Lithuania go watch the sunrise and sunset touch the centre of the mathematical horizon. The runic calendar carved in the enormous granite body of the object marks and at the same time erases time.
It is quite symbolic that in 1997 R. Krištapavičius created the flag for Neringa city as well, which reflects the history of Neringa, as well as the remaining and lost towns and villages (e.g. Karvaičiai). That is a natural consequence of the weathercock exposition in 1988 in Nida, for which the artist was awarded with the main prize of the Triennial of the Young Architects of the Baltic States, which took place in Vilnius. He is characterised by an inclination to beautify the environment of Nida and create attractive public places. This lead to other two well-known projects: The quay of Juodkrantė with a sculpture park and the reconstruction of the quay of Nida, which included the exposition of the weathercocks of the Curonian Lagoon (both projects were created together with his sister R. Krištapavičiūtė).

1980 – thesis project Culture Centre in Nida (advisor V. E. Čekanauskas);
1983 – the Sundial of Kaunas Faculty of Humanites of Vilnius University (sculptor A. Balkė, astronomical calculations – L. Klimka);
1984-1998, reconstructed in 2011, the Sundial-calendar (together with the sculptor K. Pūdymas, astronomical calculations – A. R. Klimka), Parnidis dune, Nida;
1985 – Vilnius Central Stadium (together with A. Nasvytis, R. Stasėnas), Vilnius;
1985 – the tender project, 1st place, of the culture centre of Jūratė Holiday Home in Nida (together with G. Aperavičius);
1986 – Vėtra Holiday Home of the Urban Construction Planning Institute (together with Justinas Šeibokas), Preila;
1988 – the exposition of weathercocks in Nida;
1988-1992 – the tender project for the monument of Gediminas, the founder of Vilnius. 1st place in the 1st and 2nd stages, 2nd place in the 3rd stage (together with the architect A. Skiezgelas and sculptor R. Midvikis);
1991 – the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Star of the Sea in Šventoji (together with G. Aperavičius), Šventoji (town);
1992-1993 – the monument for the Bishop Antanas Baranauskas (sculptor A. Sakalauskas), Anykščiai;
1996-1998 – the quay of Nida with the exposition of weathercocks (together with R. Krištapavičiūtė), Nida;
1997–1998 – Nida Bus Station, Neringa;
1989 – the tender project for the Church of the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis in Vilnius, 2nd place (together with G. Aperavičius, V. Balčiūnas, designer V. Dineika);
1990-1994 – the Church of the Blessed Jurgis Matulaitis (together with G. Baravykas, G. Aperavičius nd V. Balčiūnas), Vilnius;
1988-1999 – the Church of the Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Ignalina (together with V. Dineika);
1990 – the tender project for the yacht club in Nida, 1st place (together with G. Aperavičius);
1991-1999 – the Church of St Casimir in Klaipėda (together with A. Skiezgelas);
1995 – Commercial kiosks in Nida;
1995 – private residential house of R. Krištapavičius and his sister, Nida;
1996-1998 – the quay of Juodkrantė with the sculpture park (together with R. Krištapavičiūtė), Juodkrantė;
1997 – residential house of Kazimieras Mizgiris, Nida;
1997 – residential house in Pamario str., Nida;
1997 – the flag of Neringa city (author);
1998 – the reconstruction of the villa Fairytale House, Nida;
1999 – the project of the Jazz Club on the quay of Nida;
1999-2000 – a block of residential houses in Žolyno str., Vilnius;
2000 – residential semi-detached houses in L. Rėzos str. (together with J. Kijauskienė), Juodkrntė;
2001 – the tombstone for his parents’ grave in the Old Cemetery of Nida;
2001 – a group of recreational buildings, Pervalka;
2001 – residential building in Preilos str. 3, Pervalka;
2001 – Juodkrantė yacht club with a fish restaurant and a beer bar;
2001-2003 – the monument for Mindaugas, the King of Lithuania, in Vilnius. Tender project, 1st place, realisation (together with A. Nasvytis, I. Alistratovaitė, sculptor R. Midvikis);
1996-2003 – the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary Christian Support and community building (together with Algimantas Zaviša), Nida;
2003 – the monument commemorating the attachment of Klaipėda Region to Lithuania (sculptor A. Sakalauskas), Klaipėda;
2003-2008 – the reconstruction of the Lithuanian Museum of Ethnocosmology in Kulionys vil., Molėtai district. Tender project, 1st place, realisation (together with A. Gudaitis, sculptor A. Kuzma);
2004 – the Church of Divine Provdence in Utena (together with M. Jamantas);
2004-2005 – the monument of Liudvikas Rėza (together with M. Jamantas, sculptor A. Sakalauskas), Königsberg;
2005 – Lithuanian Culture Centre (together with M. Jamantas), Königsberg;
2003-2009 – the monument for the anthem of Lithuania and its author Vincas Kudirka. Tender project, 1st place. Realisation (sculptor A. Sakalauskas), Vilnius;
2007-2008 – National Stadium in Vilnius (together with the architect A. Nasvytis, R. Stasėnas, J. Liekis);
2011 – Installation of a columbarium in the chapel of Nida in the New cemetery (together with the architect I. Krištapavičiūtė and R. Krištapavičius Jr);
2012 – reconstruction project of Kuršis cafeteria and Senasis uostas restaurant at Pamario str. 29, 29D (Nida) (together with R. Krištapavičius Jr);
2012 – tender project for the Culture and Tourism Information Centre Agila in Nida (together with the architect I. Krištapavičiūtė and R. Krištapavičius Jr);
2013 – the Church of Divine Mercy (together with R. Krištapavičius Jr and D. Linartas), Šiauliai;
2014 – arrangement project for the monument for Vileišiai brothers and the square at Kosciuškos str., Vilnius (together with L. Krūgelis, sculptor R. Midvikis).

Distinguished awards:
1980 – the 1st award for the Culture Centre in Nida at the Competition of the Thesis Projects of the Architects of the USSR (advisor V. E. Čekanauskas);
1988 – the diploma of the former Architects’ Association of the USSR for the “Best Project of 1988”;
1988 – the main prize for the the weathercock exposition in Nida, awarded by the Triennial of the Young Architects of the Baltic States, which took place in Vilnius;
1994 – Lithuanian National Culture and Arts Prize.