Project: Seaside Resort
Location: Shekvetili, Ajara, Georgia.
Architect: Giorgi Khmaladze
Team: Dimitri Jobadze, Nanuka Zaalishvili, Elene Beradze.
Georgian architect Giorgi Khmaladze, famous with Batumi McDonalds building, is working on a new project. The new health and recreation center will be built in Shekvetili, along the Black Sea shoreline. The project consists of one main building, separate individual rooms of the hotel with private gardens and small individual residential houses. The main building is based on three main pillars and is lifted from the ground to that level from where the sea view is visible. The main building contains a swimming pool, a sport hall, hotel rooms and other essential spaces. There are two swimming pools inside the building. One of them fully satisfies Olympic standards, the second one is small in size. The hotel contains summer terraces, some bars and cafes. It must be noted, that the recreation centre is located on the ground level. It lies beneath the natural landscape, so that only entrance windows are visible. The environment is loaded with pedestrian alleys and artificial pools, which look like real ones. The alleys connect the main building to the small individual houses. Facade material of those individual houses is a reflective glass, which becomes almost invisible in the environment. Those houses contain small terraces and chimneys inside.
IDAAF made an interview with Giorgi Khmaladze. The architect talks about his new project and about his architectural vision.
Giorgi, what is the main concept of the building and how has it developed during the working process?
Our main goal while working on the project was to use the existed landscape as it was. So we left the relief unchanged and saved the existed pine-trees maximally. Furthermore, there is a barrier between the sea and the site, so by lifting the main building from the ground we not only saved the pine-trees, but we also opened the sea view from the lobby of the building. All the small individual houses are scattered along the site. Also, by lifting the main building above, we opened the view of the sea for those individual houses. With this concept we used all the complexities to our side and presented the project that is adjusted to the landscape at most.
What can you tell us about the technical side of the project?
The main obstacle for the project is the technical difficulty itself. It’s really hard to accomplish the constructive part of the project. It must be noted, that by lifting the main building from the ground the price gets 20-30 % more expensive. We are still working on that issue.
So the project may still change?
Yes, it is possible that the concept of the main building will be changed, we do not discuss this issue nowadays. The other part of the project will remain the same.
On which developing phase is the project right now?
The development of the project is on sketching phase, we have intense negotiations with the customer and engineers
Is the customer Georgian or foreigner?
The project client is Georgian.
While working on Shekvetili project your concept has developed from the landscape characteristics. Where do you usually get the inspiration? Do your ideas usually come while working on a certain project or do you materialize your previous thoughts into your work?
I can hardly remember any occasion when a certain project was developed from already existed idea. The main concept of the project is a result of well-studied site characteristics. It only comes after analyzing all the negative and positive aspects of a certain place. Each project should be approached individually, it’s essential to use all positive aspects. Furthermore, it’s important to take customer’s requirements into consideration. A worthy project is a mix of all above mentioned qualities and more.
Has your architectural view changed from the beginning until now?
Yes, of course. Development is a continuous and constant process and is vital for every architect. There are so many typologies which we work on time after time. We gain new knowledge daily and start to see things differently. Up growth and evolvement is inevitable for architecture.
What are the main problems of architecture in Georgia?
Nowadays, only 3-4% of existed projects can be considered as worthy architectural product. One of the main obstacles for Georgian architects is an incomplete regulation and another one is education which must be followed with certification.
The existed regulations set some standards and norms, but too many important issues, which should regulate healthy urban environment and proper functioning of a certain project, are missing and left out of attention. And because of this customer gets total freedom and intervenes in architects duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, some architects cannot resist the pressure and are forced to compromise.
Of course, all this do not justify those many unprofessional architects of today, which play a huge role in “Georgian Architecture” nowadays. But unprofessionalism is a result of educational problems, un implemented certification.
Which Georgian contemporary project will you pick out?
It’s surely hard to choose one, but Procuratorial Office building is one of the few buildings, that I look at and don’t think that any detail is not fully analyzed. (Remark: The authors of the new Procuratorial building are young Georgian architects Niko Japaridze, Giorgi Sakvarelidze and Devi Qituashvili)
Which of the contemporary architects or architectural companies is your favorite?
Herzog & de Meuron
What are you working on right now?
We are making a Lounge-Bar in Baku, the construction has already started. In this particular case, our company has been working on the interior of the bar, but we also had to remake the roof slightly. The building is located in the historic part of Baku, so the city hall strictly regulates all the applied changes to this part of the city. We’ve also participated in a closed competition in Abu Dhabi and we are waiting for results.
What do you think is the main purpose of architecture?
It’s very complex issue, but, to say simply, the main purpose of architecture is to improve the living environment of people, to create a space that will stimulate our personal growth and forming.
Author: Tamta Jugashvili