Location: Kvareli, Georgia
Studio: David Giorgadze Architects
Authors: David Giorgadze (1985 Georgia); Ivane Khuchua (1955 Georgia)
Total area: 440 sq.m
Usable floor area: 69 sq.m
Year completed: 2015
A floating pier for water skiing is beyond the traditional understanding of architecture and reaches more wide perception of art. Its aesthetical values are based on golden ratio. The object forms the character of light and sculptural architecture.
Kvareli lake is located in a mountainous area of Kakheti, Georgia. The resort is surrounded with Mount Caucasus, to the southern side the complex has an open view to the massive valley of Alazani. Existing hotel had a plan to bring new recreational activity of water skiing with its necessary infrastructure for the visitors. The lake serves as a reservoir for the artificial hydroelectric station for the energy, which changes the level of water. With foreseeing the existing factors the proposal offers the movable structure, which floats on the water surface and follows the change of level. The lake has a platform for temporary fixation of the pier, which is connected, to the shore with an adjustable staircase. The pier can be connected to the motorboat and swim which gives the possibility to become a floating viewpoint, visitors can observe the environment from different points with different views.
The main concept of the project is to satisfy the function and to adapt aesthetically in the environment.
The silhouette of the structure forms 2 thin surfaces with single line. A flat surface as a platform to stand and a flat surface as a roof, which serves as a cover from the rain, the sun and motorboats.
The space between the surfaces serves as a mediator between the land and the water, which is focused to the infinity. Two horizontal thin lines, one floating on the water and the other in the air, are connected with vertical elements, made of steel. Relationship of vertical and horizontal lines, achieves dynamism in the air. Levitating roof, which is minimally connected to the floating base of piers, makes impression of lightness, which is the main idea of the work.
The source of inspiration is taken from the history, as a platform, floating on the water, made from wooden logs, is a local tradition of entertaining, leisure and recreation.
The roof of the pier is cantilevered; the problem of the asymmetric weight balance is solved with the principles of the gravity and buoyancy to keep the structure leveled horizontally.
The main material of the project is metal pipes (RHS beams), plastic barrels under the platform which are replaceable if damaged, serve as floaters, specific water isolated roof panels, larch decking. Metal elements are covered with anti corrosion paint which is used in ship building.
IDAAF addressed the author with several questions:
– What is the significance of such projects and where else would you like such objects?
– Aesthetically refined project, which in best case scenario is realized, continues to live and have a healthy interaction with humans and the environment.
In case of the pierce at Kvareli Lake the resources of the environment and the context were properly used.
Volume hardly interferes with the environment, defines the movement trajectories, where human can determine the dynamic of the building, move around in the water and change the perception/view point of the environment.
– How’s the career of the architect in Georgia?
– In current situation architecture and city planning is significantly degrading, and its effects most of all can be felt in Tbilisi. In this case it’s hard to talk about architect’s career because there is no platform for it.
In my opinion, there appears to be several bureaus which try to lead architectural processes in the right direction. This small-scale but healthy movement contributes to increasing public’s awareness towards architecture, which is very important; it means that public will have a demand for the correct, right architecture. Sadly there is no qualified architectural journalism, which is necessary for the things mentioned above. In such an unpaved environment individual architects could still make their own architectural career, for example there are 7 projects from Georgia submitted on the Mies van der Rohe Awards for the first time this year.
– What should a good architect be like?
– There is no ready formula how to be a good architect; but in my opinion, he/she must have professional set of skills and culture, should be closely watching architectural processes worldwide, technological innovations, etc.
Working on a project should involve research, analysis, experimentation, distancing oneself from process and criticism. Big part of the work should be dedicated to refining, strengthening the idea. While working on the project, the author should be aware that it is in the context of the urban tissue, or any other environment, it becomes a part of the process, which is distributed in time and inconclusive. This approach helps the current public processes and contributes to healthy future development of the environment. While designing, architects should be able to “stage dramas”, where various scenarios unfold.
The architect should be aware that everything this has an effect on person’s psychological state and the environment, so this process is very delicate and requires great responsibility.
– What was the biggest obstacle during the constructions?
– The obstacle during the pierce project was that the consoled roof disrupted equilibrium of the floating platform. By uneven distribution on the floating barrels we could achieve balance between gravitation and buoyancy. This was a challenge formed during designing process. After this the pierce was built, put in the water and asymmetrical structure got in a horizontal position.
Text: David Giorgdze Architects; Nanuka Zaalishvili
English Edit: David Giorgdze Architects, Meri Khamkhadze