ARCHITECTURE OR ART: NEW GEORGIAN BUILDINGS
In the early 2000s, they chose a new concept of development of the state: it had to become absolutely transparent and open for its citizens. So that the people and the officials remember about it every day, it was decided to build a completely new public facilities and infrastructure. Scattered across the country, new architectural buildings have become a material symbol of reforms and in less than ten years, created a new and very recognizable visual code of the country, which is important in terms of practical application and image quality. Well blended into ever colourful and impressive cities and landscapes, new bridges, office buildings, airports are well-recognizable landmarks and tourist attractions.
Our top list we start with perhaps from Tbilisi and its most famous pedestrian the Bridge of Peace or as it is popularly called the "glass bridge". The bridge stretches over Kura River in the heart of the capital, it is, perhaps, the most photographed spot in the Caucasus. Being exquisitely illuminated, it looks very impressive both day and night. The bridge was designed by the Italian architect Michele De Lucchi, who had also designed the buildings of the Presidential Administration of Georgia. Maestro, who was one of the first foreigners to work on the new image of Georgia, is almost the head ideologist of the construction boom. His skilful use of glass designs set a certain style and encouraged other architects to adhere to the specified style.
From the capital we move to the north-east of the country, and do it on the plane, so that after about forty minutes to see one of the most unusual airports on the planet. Located in the mountain village of Mestia, Queen Tamar Airport is striking by its seclusion, the style and elegance of shapes. Built in just three months, it is the first stone in the foundation of a new mountain resort nearby. The project was developed by the German architectural bureau J. Mayer H. Architects. The architects were able to enter such an important and complex subject as the airport into the difficult mountain landscape, and they have also achieved harmony: outlines of terminal echo the local landmark Svan towers.
The second largest city of the country Kutaisi, the capital of neighbouring Imereti, also has something to be proud of in addition to the ancient monuments and the old city centre. In 2012 the Parliament was transferred from Tbilisi to Kutaisi to a fantastic building. Consisting of seven floors, the Parliament Building is shaped to resemble either turtle or snail, and the top is covered with an oval-shaped glass dome. Inside the cavernous hall, looks no less futuristic with flowing shapes and green rugs mimicking grass. Despite the fact that the Parliament is on the outskirts of the city, tourists take time to travel to it. Architect is another Italian Alberto Domingo Cabo.
We move further south to Adjara. Its capital Batumi is eventually a symbol of the new Georgia, because this city in a few years transformed from the former Soviet southern port to one of the most popular resorts in Europe. Its new part pleases an eye by its unique and top-rated McDonald’s fuel station. This compound of a restaurant and petrol station at some absolutely cosmic shape with green terraces, gives a fresh look at fast food concept.
There, in Adjara, a few dozen kilometres from Batumi, there is an ancient village of Sarpi on the border between Turkey and Georgia. In addition to its pristine beaches, it is also known by Border Checkpoint. Harmoniously nested into the surrounding mountains, this object is famous not only for fast work of border guards, but also for its terraces and balconies offering an incredible view of the Black Sea. Another perfect evidence that unusual architecture in Georgia also have an important practical function.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of already well-known holiday complex, not far from one of the oldest cities in the country Gori. Located at the road connecting Azerbaijan and Turkey, it is particularly favoured by drivers and travellers for being a relaxing stepping stone during long journeys. In addition to non-stop operating cafes, fuel stations and stores, sometimes internal spaces are transformed into galleries and mobile museums of modern Georgian art. Authors of the project, by the way, are the same German architects who built the Queen Tamar Airport.
To complete this collection, we suggest to come back to the starting point of our architectural tour, to the Tbilisi downtown where 35-foot block of glass shaded by huge droopy white petals on tubular stems rises up to the sky launched by the House of Justice (Public Service Hall), designed by renowned Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas in the 2011. This institution, which solves almost all the administrative issues related to obtaining the documents, in particular, certificates or registration of business, is definitely inspiring since its transparency is manifested through its shape and in style of operation. Being one of the most corrupted and bureaucratic countries in the early 2000s, today's Georgia is the country most open and business orientated. Therefore, its House of Justice, where one can literally within 15 minutes over a cup of coffee, register a company to obtain the necessary documents, is a real monument to implemented reforms!