“Architectural Resurrection: Tbilisi’s New Blend of Past and Present”


February 19, 2024

“Architectural Resurrection: Tbilisi’s New Blend of Past and Present”


February 19, 2024

Several weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting a construction site in Tbilisi, hidden behind an art-adorned fence featuring a poignant mural of a little girl lost in thought by Dante. The site, with its surprising juxtaposition of old and new, proved to be a testament to the city’s history and a canvas for innovative design, by one of the visionary architectural firms, Laboratory of Architecture #3.

Preserving History, Transforming Memory:

Once a hospital, the site carried the weight of a tragic memory—famous Georgian poet Galaktion Tabidze’s untimely end by leaping from a hospital window. While the hospital’s administrative building was demolished, the enchanting entrance with its grand staircase and intricate details remained intact.

The former hospital administration building.
The grand staircase of the former hospital.

A Walkway Through Childhood Dreams:

Architect Dimitri Shapakidze led me over a ramp elegantly winding around the preserved entrance—a literal manifestation of the “new wrapped around the old.” Shapakidze shared a personal revelation, “As a kid, I wanted to climb roofs. I think everyone has that obsession in their childhood—to climb a roof and look at the skyline.” This childhood dream inspired the design, resulting in a walkway that gifts Tbilisi with a public rooftop for all to enjoy.

Interactive Art in Ascent:

The ascent up the ramp takes on a new dimension as future visitors will become unwitting contributors to an evolving masterpiece. Silhouettes cast shadows that will dance upon the future café floor and walls, transforming the space into a living canvas. The studio’s design ingeniously intertwines art with architecture, making each climb a participatory experience.

Functional Beauty Unveiled:

Beyond the rooftop, every floor of the space is purposefully designed. From communal gathering spaces to private nooks, the construction serves as a multifaceted hub. The rooftop stands out as a serene haven, offering seating amidst a verdant embrace, where individuals can unwind amid nature.

Reimagining the Urban Landscape:

The hospital building, now relegated to the far end of the lot, doesn’t attract too much attention. The front of this vast space is dedicated to crafting an urban oasis for locals—a space designed for communal enjoyment. The wraparound entrance seamlessly connects to a sprawling underground gallery, leading to a charming walkway alongside a pool. The integration of these elements with the surrounding area is a testament to the meticulous planning and synergy achieved in this architectural endeavor.


As I left the construction site, I marveled at the delicate balance struck between honoring the past and embracing the future. The architectural firm’s vision has not only resurrected a historic site but has woven a tapestry of memories, dreams, and community engagement. Tbilisi’s newest creation stands not just as a building but as a thoughtful design in shaping the cultural and emotional landscape of a city. Visit www.metaport.ai to learn about the history behind Tbilisi’s historical buildings and much more.

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