Ketevan Sokolova – Qurdiani was born on January 15th, 1905 in Tbilisi. She’s the first Georgian female architect, who was socially active till the end of her life.
Ketevan’s father, Nikoloz Sokolov was a lawyer and her mother, Mariam Porakishvili – an artist, painter. Most likely, it was her mother, from whom architect inherited her talent. In 1922 she graduated Gymnasium and started learning at Polytechnic Institute (which till 1928 was called Polytechnic Faculty of Tbilisi State University), where she studied architect. She graduated successfully with her future husband, Archil Qurdiani.
Ketevan was still a student, when she started working on projects. She was designing houses, administrative buildings, villages and so on. Most of her works were used for building.
Her works include: Villa for Persian royalty ordered by German Company “Altebauag”; First tea factory in Chaqvi; Villages in Kolkheti, where once were swamps. She, with Jitkovski, also took part in constructing pavilion, designed by Archil Qurdiani at exhibition of Union Agricultural Achievements. There also were two big residential houses for Ministry of Agriculture on Chavchavadze avenue, residential house on Vakhushti street, residential house for research workers on Gamsakhurdia street with I. Chkhenkel, Hotel “Intourist” in Gori with Archil Qurdiani and so on. You can feel traditional, Georgian architectural touches in her works, see the talent she had and fully expressed in her creations.
As I said before, Ketevan Qurdiani is the first Georgian female architect. She had a great input in development of Georgian national architecture. She was the first female who choose “male” profession and entered their world. With her talent and works she made herself know and took her place as successful architect. Ketevan was member of architects’ union from its founding and was active and social till the late years. She died on August 26th, 1988.
While writing this article I came across one strange thing. While searching for information I asked the family of the architect for help and they were glad to give me a hand. I decided to get more information from other sources, like old soviet encyclopedia. I was happy when I found some information about her husband, thought there would be article about her too. But for my disappointment, there was nothing. It seems that sexist attitudes were strong in Soviet years and printing information about female architects wasn’t so important, even though she was known and successful.
Author: Merry Khamkhadze