while some buildings have been already destroyed from the soviet era in georgia, as the iconic ‘andropov’s ears’ in tbilisi, others have been renovated, a few slightly different from their original design. for example the iveria hotel, built in 1967 is today the radisson blue hotel and has completely changed its look, while the refurbishment of the former ministry of highway constructions is now the new headquarters of the bank of georgia, altering much less the overall image of the building.


zestafoni art school
image © roberto conte

 

 

italian photographers roberto conte and stefano perego have worked on a compilation of images that represent the soviet heritage in georgian architecture, highlighting important features which are found throughout each piece. the modern bank of georgia building was built thanks to several influences: from the horizontal skyscrapers by el lissitzky and the metabolist utopias to the use of roofs in the georgian traditional architecture. this peculiarity can be found in other buildings, in particular among those whose exterior presents the georgian typical arch shape, like the art school in zestafoni. another feature of the soviet heritage in georgia is the importance of the figurative representation, not only with the typical memorials of the ‘great patriotic war’ against the nazis, as the one near the ‘krushovka’ in chiatura, but also with more expressionist styles, as the statue by berdzenishvili in marnuelli or the russian georgian friendship monument near the border.


soviet war memorial and residential buildings in chiatura
image © stefano perego

 

 

this impressive architecture did not limit the representations of human forms only to monuments, as statues or mosaics, but also to the exterior sides of many other public buildings, as the auditorium of the industrial technical college or as the archeological museum. this last example presents an irregular and almost circle-shaped plan with a jagged and solemn access, as other soviet modernist buildings of post-war georgia do too, for example, djorbenadze’s palace of rituals. unlike other buildings which present squared architectural volumes connected to each other, as the technical library of tbilisi or the administrative building of chiatura.


‘and they shall grow’, a sculpture by berdzenishvili (1975) in marneuli
image © stefano perego


russian georgian friendship monument (1983) near the border in gudauri
image © stefano perego 


former auditorium of the industrial technical college (1976) in tbilisi
image © roberto conte


archaeological museum (1988) in tbilisi
image © stefano perego 


technical library by bichiasshvili (1985) in tbilisi
image © roberto conte


administrative office building in chiatura
image © stefano perego 


the palace of rituals by victor djorbenadze (1984-1985) in tbilisi
image © roberto conte


the former ministry of highway construction, now bank of georgia headquarters in tbilisi
image © roberto conte


aragveli monument in zhinvali
image © stefano perego


housing complex by kalandarishvili and potskhishvili (1976) in tbilisi
image © roberto conte

 

 

to see more images by both photographers follow: 
roberto conte’s instagram and facebook
stefano perego’s instagram and facebook

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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