A cable is being built at Rose Revolution square, opposite Radisson hotel which will connect Rustaveli avenue with Mtatsminda.
Recently, I have noticed one interesting thing, namely people who have no idea about architecture or do not want to deserve anger of the author, make the following comment: “the project is fairly good but does not suit this area”. I have come across plenty of such comments on social network website and would like to state my view as a master’s student of Architecture and I should say this comment is pretty different from the above-mentioned.
Generally, the former “Republic” and now “Rose Revolution” square is one of the hardest spots in Tbilisi urban area. This area does not have the so-called connecting dot on which it would be possible to construct a general plan. No building restricts the space, while the hotel Radisson Blu has only vertical structure.
This place has witnessed many dramatic events over the years. During Soviet times there was a project called “TagediBelltower” (architects O. kalandarishvili& G. Potkskhishvili) aka “Andropovi Ears”. Whatever we say about this project, it is undeniable that it was the trademark of this area, while our favorite king David the Builder’s monument was completely lost in this huge open space. Placement of a gigantic bicycle is another “extraordinary phenomenon” and nobody knows what it has to do with such Tbilisi as the city with practically no cyclists. Recently a summer glass café was constructed, which does not represent anything negative and in contrast, creates a pleasant atmosphere. All I want to say with this information is that it is really challenging to create a valuable project in this area and areal professional’s skills, mind and eyes are needed.
The cable, construction of which began lately, has oval shape, but it is definitely unfair to compare it with the egg sandals in Batumi. I will remember the previous comment and say that the place does not really matter when the project is limping. Firstly, a construction which is prone to become the city’s trademark, definitely deserved a better visualization. I mean render quality, where materials and other details are forthcoming.
At first sight, the idea is not bad, but accompanying details do not really comply. Let’s start with the column, which seems to be support of this round pillar. In fact, it’s rolling booths holder and an inseparable part of the cable, however it has nothing to do with this particular architectural composition, which is immediately obvious to an attentive eye. Another thing is that this feature is essential to such construction, but a professional architect should be able to blend such parts harmoniously with each other. Also it is unclear why there is a second column in front of “Cafe Gallery” on Rustaveli Avenue, which is more a reduced model of architect Renzo Piano’s cultural centre than a part of the railroad project. The impression is that the author threw the details at the main idea, recklessly or rashly. This is an example of how an idea has not been refined, an example of the fact that this projectstill needs a lot of thinking and bringing to a logical end, or a more experienced person capable of handling the problems of such complexity. The difficulty is not in the project, but the complexity of the design which involves placing such construction in such location and making it work.
Anyway, I believe when it comes to buildings of such importance, the least to be done is to organize an international contest but the best way would be to invite a famous foreign architect. The latter version seems better to me because we will not only appear in the world spotlight but also have one definitely excellent construction in our city.
This cable project is not so worthless,but it is not particularly good either. It is stuck somewhere in the middle because it is incomplete. The main idea is clear but details are unsuitable. As well as this, we are not aware of the planning, just a few low-quality renders were thrown at us.
And finally, even if we disregard bringing a famous architect or conducting s contest, why does Tbilisi does not have a civil board? If NY and London citizens are asked about their opinions concerning new constructions, why aren’t we? Who decides what should be built in the city? The city hall architecture department where 80% of the members are lawyers? Look out of the windows and think a while, is this something you want tot see? When the view of Europe’s isolated cities is even better than Tbilisi’s, a question rises: does this place have an owner or does a general plan exist according to which it will develop?
P.S.: Tbilisi is still my favorite city and I always look forward to new projects. The only time I am upset is when the result is far from bring good. This cable is just one of them. I am not sure whether the completed version will be better than the current project. Hopefully, yes, otherwise we will have to endure another imperfection in the city .
Finally, for those who people who say: “nothing deserves your approval”, I attach the photos of my endorsed cable way.
Author: Nanuka Zaalishvili
English Edit: Nino Namoradze
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