New Campus of Tbilisi State University

Architects Shota Kachkachishvili, Zurab Kopaladze, Bidzina Maminaishvili, Leri Medzmariashvili, Nodar Mikadze, Nodar Mgaloblishvili, Solomon Revishvili, Aleksandre Sabashvili, Devi Chopikashvili – “Sakkalakmshensakhproekti”

Design 1968-70 Construction 1971 – 1989

Status unfinished

Original function library, educational and research buildings, dormitory, bridge

Current function same

Current condition altered, partly demolished

Address University Street, Tbilisi
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The building of the Georgian High school in Tbilisi was completed 1906 according to the project of Simon Kldiashvili. In 1918 first university in the South Caucasus region was opened here – nowadays the First Building of Tbilisi State University (TSU) named after Ivane Javakhishvili. In 1940 the Second Building was constructed on the site according to the project of Mikheil Shavishvili. In 1967-1968 by the resolution of the Government of Georgia the decision of constructing a new campus of TSU was made and soon afterwards, at the special session of the Council of Ministers of the Georgian SSR the general plan was approved. The area covering over 240 hectares was allotted for the university complex in the western part of Tbilisi, in the valley of the Vere River, surrounded by the hills of Tskneti and Bagebi. On the territory there was already built the 10th Building of the university, which was designed by Shota Kachkachishvili, Mikheil Shavishvili, S. Bezhanov and M. Shubladze and constructed in 1968.

A competition was announced on the design of the general plan of the university campus, where many design institutes participated from the Soviet Union. The first prize has been awarded to the project, presented by the team of Sakkalakmshensakhproekti design institute, where the chief architects were Zurab Kopaladze and Devi Chopikashvili, co-authors – Aleksandre Sabashvili, Solomon Revishvili and Shota Kachkachishvili. However, the project has not been approved by the Georgian SSR Sakhmsheni committee. The Second competition was announced, according to which a newly formed team had to develop different versions of the general plan. To the working team joined Leri Medzmariashvili, Nodar Mgaloblishvili, Nodar Mikadze and Bidzina Maminaishvili and in 1970 out of the four options, presented by the nine-member team, Sakhmsheni committee chose the project developed under the leadership of Zurab Kopaladze. According to the agreement all members of the collective are declared as authors of the final general plan.

New studio was established in Sakkalakmshensakhproekti, initially headed by Solomon Revishvili and since 1977 by Leri Medzmariashvili. Zurab Kopaladze was appointed as a chief architect of the project. New territory of the university campus was divided into several sectors, including: educational-scientific, sports, service and residential zones. It was also planned to build embankments, open pools and artificial lakes alongside the Vere River. Moreover, the project aimed the construction of botanical garden, biological and meteorological stations, library, indoor and outdoor halls and stadiums, various scientific institutions, laboratories and administrative buildings.

Residential zone was located on the left bank of the River Vere with dormitories and cottages, connecting to the rest of the campus by a pedestrian bridge and ropeway.

The building process of the university campus was halted in 1989 and since then the unfinished constructions remain abandoned.

Among the finished structures are dormitory and pedestrian bridge, which was constructed 1978 and 11th Building of Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, which was opened 1971 – both projects by the architects Zuran Kopaladze, Leri Medzmariashvili and Solomon Revishvili. The construction of Scientific Library intended to hold up to five million books was finished as well 1971, architects of this project are Shota Kachkachishvili, Zurab Kopaladze, Bidzina Maminaishvili, Nodar Mgaloblishvili, Aleksandre Sabashvili and Devi Chopikashvili. (mg)

Translation: Ana Kiasashvili
Info: Zurab Kopaladze
Photos: Zurab Kopaladze personal Archive, The Architekturzentrum Wien, Simona Rota

Literature/Links

Levan Gedevanishvili. Precious Gift to the Next Generation; Newspaper – Tbilisi University. geo. (Zurab Kopaladze personal Archive)