Everything has two sides, and architecture is no exception. Inside attractive facades there frequently are ugly details, while beyond impressive interiors there are “dark corners” hidden from the eyes of people.

Architecture is power!

A good architect is the one who will rule upon a particular area with dignity, whereas a genius is who with all these things will affect human emotions. Ability to affect the environment and human mood, to let it play to some specific rules, airy outlines taking us to more oppressive buildings become more and more influential so that people do not even understand how they become trapped inside the urban space. We have a favourite building, street, city.. still, there are also places which we do not want to pass, the discomfort is so strong that we prefer to cover a longer way just not to share that aura. Unintentionally, or maybe even on the contrary, the cause of all this architecture, individual architects’ creations are the result of our daily mood and even integration in urban space as well as defining our actions.

Buildings are just like people, they breathe and get judged. This two-faced creatures with their valuable parts, pose well in front of the visitors at the same time hiding harsh, unattractive details carefully. Similar to humans, here as well sometimes courageous buildings appear, which are not ashamed of their unattractive “body” parts and have exhibited them widely to destroy the widely-accepted stereotypical perception of beauty. Take the Pompidou Centre in Paris as an example, the entire system of sewage pipes and ventilation shafts are thrown outside for everyone to see. The initial idea that comes to mind is that logically these insides should be carefully hidden, however at the second thought, to hell with logic when it’s all so impressive and beauty really is in all things, we just have to be able to see it.

However,  this is not always the case. The buildings still diligently try to hide their ugly body parts and unless a person is a curious intriguer, nobody on earth will ever spend any time to detect those faults.  Luckily I am that “intriguer” and I’m among those who really like architecture and are looking beyond those pretty facades. Those who look, always find what they are looking for. Therefore, I gathered photoes of some buildings, which used to exist around us and have a second face. By the way, are not people like this as well? You look at them and never know what hides behind their beautiful face.

Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas

Photo: George Matchavariani

The building has a number of angles and looking at neither of them will leave the lovers of architecture indifferent. However, it is enough to go up the slope in the direction of Avlabari and see its “second face”, which blocks Narikala/Mtatsminda view completely, to make this building seem much less attractive.

Former Marriage House

Photo: Former Marriage House

The building’s facade, which embraces the city, has become a cult and is engraved in our minds with its impressive, distinguished forms, however there is “another side” which only a few have seen and it’s also very nice,


New Technologies and Archeological Centre at Nakulbakevi

Photo: George Matchavariani

How many of you have noticed this tiny, elegant building upon arriving to Tbilisi? Hopefully, a lot of you, because though the front facade is not anything new in modern architecture, but thanks to its simple forms and materials, it still asks for our appreciation. In other words, we enjoy what we see from the front, but now we will expose its another side. You would not think this is the facade of the latter building, would you? Th lockers, which should be inaccessible to the eye, are placed in the background and does not bother the passers-by with its existence


Center Pompidou 

This is the shameless building, which has exposed its intestines and says: beauty is in everything! It has nothing to hide and boasts with boasts countless visitors and people like me who constantly praise this construction.



And finally, we whirled around Gogi Chakhava’s former Ministry of Construction and pride of Georgian architecture, but we could not discover any “second face”, there was no detail, no photo shot, which would have exposed any fault. It either hides its another side succesfully or is faultless. Personally, I believe in the latter.

The article was first published on:  www.photoessay.ge


Author: Nanuka Zaalishvili

English Edit: Nutsa Namoradze



Facebook Comments