Biomorphic Pavilions

ბიომორფული პავილიონები

Architects Chakhava, Giorgi; Jalaghania, Zurab

Artists Malazonia, Nodar; Kapanadze, Zurab; Lezhava, Zurab

Design and Construction 1970-1975

Status built

Original function Bus stops, cafe

Current function, name same, no function

Current condition demolished, partly altered


Pavilion „Shell“, Akhali Atoni
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Pavilions „saddle“, „Fish“, „Octopus“,  Bichvinta
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Pavilions „Elephant“, „Cat“, Alakhadzi
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Cafe „Fantasy“ (Octopus) Batumi 
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The first shell structure by Giorgi Chakhava was built for Alushta Bus Station in 1961. This was the first time that he used similar technology as it was developed by Pier Luigi Nervi. Over time, the relatively simple shapes trasformed into a more sophisticated biomorphic forms. All these pavilions are distinguished by skillful selection of sites. They are organically combined with nature and the environment. Chakhava chose the location himself. Respectful treatment of nature is seen in all his projects. Zurab Jalaghania is the co-author of almost all the pavilions, and the decoratve mosaics are done by Georgian artists – Nodar Malazonia, Zurab Kapanadze and Zurab Lezhava.

The most sophisticated example of shell pavilions can be considered Batumi cafe “Fantasy” (so called Octopus). Originally, the decorative figures on the roof sprayed water through the pipe system which was embedded in the construction. The water glittered on the surface, made the colored enamel shiny and helped to cool the interior.

This outstanding pavilion was abandoned for many years, was in danger of demolition by the developer in 2012, what has led to protest. Finally it was saved, but as a result of „restoration“, the original enamel surface was replaced with a new one, the water spray system was abolished and the building completely lost its authenticity. It is a paradox that Batumi “Octopus” after that, in 2020 received the status of a cultural heritage monument. (ntch)

Fotos: Giorgi Chakhava personal Archive



W.K. Zwischen Kaukasus und Schwarzem Meer, Gebilde wie aus Träumen Farbe und Raum. N°3 März 1979, VEB Verlag für Bauwesen

Skrodzki, Wojciech. Przystanki czarnomorskie (Black Sea trail), Projekt, N° 119, 4. 1977.

Palavandishvili, Nini and Prents, Lena. Art for Architecture. Georgia. Soviet modernist Mosaics from 1960 to 1990. DOM publishers. Berlin. ISBN 978-3-86922-691-0