Georgian Architect’s Project Receives International Prize

Georgian architect Giorgi Khmaladze, famous for designing the futuristic building currently housing the Batumi McDonald’s, was awarded once again, this time for his new wellness center project, to be located in Shekvetili resort in Guria region, western Georgia. The architect took the jury’s Special Mention prize at the Architizer A+ Awards 2016, the largest architecture awards in the world.

Two years ago, Khmaladze took first place for the Batumi McDonald’s project in the competition. Following the victory, the Georgian architect quickly became famous in architectural circles and began to receive orders from different countries.

“The victory is very important in order to raise awareness,” Khmaladze told Business Contact. “The McDonald’s project is well known inside the country, but after the competition, it went beyond the borders. As a result, we saw a lot of interest from different foreign projects, and were invited to closed competitions in Abu Dhabi, where we received orders from Baku, for example.”

The new Shekvetili resort is a local project and was mentioned in the Architizer A+Awards’ Unbuilt Projects section. The future wellness center and hotel will be located in a pine forest on the Black Sea coast. The existing rich vegetation, topography and orientation towards the adjacent sea shore are the key drivers of the design.

It was highlighted that the building will be placed in a location already free of trees and intense vegetation. The three main components forming the 90 guestroom hotel will be the main building, the forest suites and the garden suites, with diverse spatial conditions.

According to the project, the main building is divided into two main levels, one on the ground level, sunk into artificial hills, and the other elevated above the treetops. The ground level is to house the main lobby, wellness center and all supporting spaces, connected to the rest of the building by three structural cores which both support the level above and serve as vertical circulation shafts – for stairs, guest elevators and service lifts. The upper level is 18 meters above ground to provide hotel suites with a direct sea view and leaving an open space below for sheltered decks.

The forest suites will be placed on small hills farther from the sea shore, from where the sea view and horizon will still be visible. The garden suites are to be placed on the flattest and lowest location.

The Architizer A+ Awards is the largest awards program focused on promoting and celebrating the year’s best architecture and products, this year taking place for the fourth time. Its mission is to nurture appreciation of meaningful architecture throughout the world and champion its potential for a positive impact on everyday life.

The jury is composed of more than 300 prominent representatives of different sectors – architects, designers, modelers, publishers and real estate agents.

Eka Karsaulidze

07 July 2016 20:20