Aquatic Sports Complex “Laguna Vere”

საწყლოსნო-სპორტული კომპლექსი “ლაგუნა ვერე“

Architects Shota Kavlashvili, Ramaz Kiknadze, Guram Abuladze – “TbilQalakProekti”, forth studio

Civil Engineer Rodames Ghudushauri

Artist Nikoloz Ignatov

Design 1964 Construction 1968-1978

Status built

Original function swimming pool

Current function no function

Current title Laguna Vere Aquatic Sports Complex

Current condition partly demolished, abandoned  

Address 34, Merab Kostava St. Tbilisi, Georgia
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In 1963, the authorities ordered the construction of an aquatic sports complex in the center of Tbilisi, at the confluence of the Vere and Mtkvari rivers. The site of the silk weaving factory was chosen as the location for the new complex. This area, as well as the rest of the Mtkvari and Vere coastlines, were designated as green zones in the General Plans of Tbilisi from 1934, 1953 and 1970 and were to be gradually freed from the existing development.

Working on this project started in 1964 by architects of the fourth studio of the TbilQalakProektiShota Kavlashvili, Ramaz Kiknadze and Guram Abuladze. Due to a lack of financial resources, planning and construction took 14 years. From 1964 to 1977, the architects planned three versions of the project. The grand opening of the aquatic sports complex was held in 1978 and it has been named after Lenin Komsomol. This was the first aquatic sports complex in the Caucasus, meeting international standards. Here were held local and international competitions, also teams of swimming, whaterpolo, diving and synchronized swimming were trained there. In 1982 the project was awarded the Prize of the Council of Ministers of the USSR and the First Degree Prize in the quality of construction work.

The architecture of the complex is highly functional. In the central area there are three different sized pools located – largest one for competitions; deep one with a concrete diving tower and third one for training. The stands, designed for 5 500 spectators are in the south of the pools. At the opposite side of them, along the road connecting the Hero Square with the river bank, are the cash registers and two main entrances. This partly blind wall of the main façade is decorated with a long mosaic panel. In this part of the complex are placed the press corps, commentator’s booth, grandstands for press and athletes as well.

The entrances and the stands are connected through the ramps. Under the stands there is a three-story building. Training pool, special hall for training divers and several others for exhibitions, press conferences and presentations are located on the first floor. Main office of the aquatic sports federation, medical and rehabilitation room and sauna are placed on second floor, while third floor is entirely occupied by gyms, athletics and shaping halls. The complex covers 10 250 square meters and is designed to withstand an earthquake of up to seven magnitude.

Author of the mosaic panel on the main façade and interior wall paintings is artist Nikoloz (Koka) Ignatov.

The building has become private property since 2000 and in early 2014 whole complex was closed. The condition of the building has worsened since the flood in 2015. Currently Laguna Vere is abandoned and neglected, but some parts of the building are still rented to private companies. Nowadays, there are no municipal outdoor swimming pools in the central part of Tbilisi.(mg)

Info: Gaga Kiknadze, Nini Palavandishvili
Photos: Ramaz Kiknadze personal Archive, Shota Kavlashvili personal Archive, National Archives of Georgia, Simona Rota

Tbilisi Architecture Archive. Laguna Vere. Tbilisi 2022. ISBN 9-789941-848599
architectuul. Laguna Vere