Architects Givi Melkadze, Temo Mikashavidze, Neli Kvartskhava, Ilo Kavlashvili – “Tbilqalaqproekti”, first Architectural Studio
Sculptor Merab Berdzenishvili
Function metro station
Condition partly modificated
Address 89-97 Davit Agmashenebeli Avenue, Tbilisi
The metro station “Marjanishvili” was officially opened on January 11, 1966, along with the other five stations of the first line of the Tbilisi Metro (“Didube”, “Electrodepo”, “Octomberi” (Nadzaladevi), “Sadguris Moedani”, “Rustaveli”). Within the next year, this line was extended by the stations “Lenin Square” (Freedom Square), “26 Komisari” (Avlabari) and “300 Aragveli“.
In the late 1940s, the new Marjanishvili Square was built at the intersection of Aghmashenebeli Avenue (formerly Plekhanov Avenue) with Marjanishvili Street, according to the project of architect Mikheil Melia. The residential buildings bordering the square were constructed in 1948, and the building of the “TbilQalaqProekti“, containing the only entrance to the metro station, was realized in 1956.
Between Marjanishvili and Rustaveli stations, the metro line crosses the Mtkvari River connecting the right and left banks of the city. The underground vestibule is accessible from the entrance hall of the TbilQalaqProekti building via escalators. The project for the underground vestibule was designed in the I Architectural Studio of “TbilQalaqProjekti” headed by Yuri Kasradze, by the architects Givi Melkadze, Temo Mikashavidze, Neli Kvartskhava and Ilo Kavlashvili. In the 1980s, under the leadership of Vladimer Kurtishvili, the “TbilQalaqProjekti” planned the construction of an additional access to the metro station near the Marjanishvili Theater.
The underground vestibule consists of three parallel voulted halls connected by arched passages. The inner surfaces of the arches are lined with dark marble, while the floor is covered with polished “Borjomi” granite. Seats made of the same stone are arranged along the walls and massive pillars in all three halls. Along the tracks, the edges of the platform floors are covered with a strip of asphalt in which square tiles in contrasting colors are inserted. This safety line has remained unchanged to this day.
The walls are covered with ivory “Lopota Vein” marble, which represents the main background colour of the interior. The front wall of the central hall bearing the bronze portrait of the theater director Kote Marjanishvili (sculptor: Merab Berdzenishvili) is also covered with the same marble. Initially, the passengers could read under the portrait the words of Kote Marjanishvili: “The purpose of art is simple – to bring joy to human beings, to encourage them”. For some incomprehensible reason, that can no longer be found there. Back then, in order to cast the letters in bronze, the architects designed a special font.
The architects had developed several options for the design of the cladding and lighting. According to the project, the interior design should be rather modest. The “Marjanishvili” metro station contains many fine details, such as ventilation grilles, their connecting decorative aprons with the image of a theater mask and others. (na)
Photos: National Archives of Georgia, National Library of Georgia, Tbilisis Ubis Tsignaki, Intermedia, Netgazeti