In 1922, Lithuanian University was established in Kaunas. Prof. V. Lašas, the dean of Medical Faculty of Lithuanian Vytautas Magnus University, was one of the key persons who believed in the idea of establishing modern clinical basis for educating and training health care specialists and developing research activities.
In the spring of 1936, the national ministers made an extremely important decision to build university hospital in Kaunas containing 518 beds and approved the budget of 3.5 million Litas for this purpose.
The design of the hospital was the work of Paris architects Urbain Cassan and Elie Ouchanoff, who won the competition for the hospital building project.
The construction period was famous for its modern architectural and technological innovations: reinforced concrete basement, sound and thermal insulating walls, covered by oak cork, insulating heating system were used for the first time in the country.
The foundation stone of the hospital was laid in 1937 and the building of the largest hospital in Lithuania was finished in 1939. The hospital opened in 1940.
During the World War II, the hospital was redecorated with camouflage colours and served as a health care centre for treating more than 5000 patients simultaneously.
Medical Faculty team in 1922: (from right to left): dr. Leonas Gogelis, dr. Petras Avižonis, dr. Antanas Jurgeliūnas, prof. Vladas Lašas (standing in the left ), and Petras Raudonikis.
The hospital complex consisted of 5 main buildings: central building, administration-management and odontology building, infection diseases building, neurology and mental care building and pathology building. It was by far the biggest object for health care purposes in Lithuania. In those days media a number of messages popped out about the biggest and the most modern hospital not only in Lithuania but also in the whole Baltics region. It was announced that the construction of the building required a train filled with pebbles of 42 km length. As long as the Hospital belonged to the the university, the object met the education and training needs as well – a number of classrooms, rooms with anatomical models and moulages, library and nurses dormitory were designed and built.
At that time the design of hospitals was oriented towards functionalism - simple rectangular lines, black and white colors’ esthetics were related to sterility and hygiene. One can not find this in Kauno klinikos. The composition of volume (symmetry, rhizolithes, cornice pull), decoration materials (the facades were decorated with granitic plaster) – such details be related to modernized historicism rather than modernism. However it is possible to talk about object’s modernity from its engineering equipment. Good example – exceptionally advanced stomatology hall with double floors to connect the engineering networks to stomatology chairs. The modern 1 km long complex of tunnels was related to anti-air and anti-chemical security functions.