Marije Brans

Marije Brans


Žalgiris National Stadium - From the past, following the present going to the future'

The history of Lithuania got a strong grip on people’s daily lives. Lithuanians of nowadays are very proud of the events from early time of Lithuania, but everyday they are also confronted with the heritage of occupation of the country, which lasted for over 200 years. 25 years after Baltic states became independent, you feel that Lithuania is still in a struggle to find its identity.

There are a lot of ways, how Lithuania could get back or re-establish national spirit. One of them goes through sports. Sport was always a place, where Lithuanians kept their freedom, pride and strength, especially during the hard moments in life. Unfortunately, this uniting place, such a national sport center could be, is not existing yet.

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, is trying to build a main stadium of the country for the last 30 years. The last attempt to build a multi-use stadium failed in 2010, the same as the first one in 1987, due to economical crisis and corruption. The abandoned skeleton of reinforced concrete structure and wild vegetation are the only things that are left from a dream of a national stadium. Without a doubt, one of the longest lasting projects in Lithuania’s history is a scar on the hearts of the Lithuanian people. After spending, or more correct, losing 78 million Euros, any discussion about the national stadium is like putting salt in an open wound.

I believe, that to become independent from unpleasant past and be proud of the glory days, Lithuania needs to realize the dream and finalize the home of national sport. The national stadium will help the country and its people to find the national spirit, to fight for the goals, to unite for better results, to inspire next generations.

The new stadium could be not only the symbol of what Lithuanians stand up and fight for. The building could solve a lot of local problems of its surrounding, of Šeškine district, as well as become an important connecting part of landscape and urban tissue of Vilnius.

Commission members: Gloria Font (mentor), Dingeman Deijs, Micha de Haas. Additional members for the exam: Ira Koers, Marcel van der Lubbe.

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