Architect Szymkiewicz, Alexander
Planning after 1887 Construction 1889-1891
Status Cultural Heritage Site
Original function Museum
Current function same
Current name State Silk Museum
Address 6 Giorgi Tsabadze St. Tbilisi
Silk museum of Alexander Szymkiewicz was the main building of the Caucasian Sericulture Station. Originally the building was hosting silk museum, offices and laboratories. Stylistically, the building is eclectic, representing the mixture of different features including Russian Classicism and the elements of Islamic and Renaissance architecture as well.
In a ground plan of the project all rooms and halls are symmetrically arranged across the central axis, so is planned an entrance of the main hall with the staircase. The principle of the plan is well seen on the exterior, where the main, north-east façade is divided by middle and corner avant-corps. The entrance is highlighted by a portico with two massive columns, attached to the middle avant-corps, creating transitional space between the building and the garden.
The building is constructed with red bricks, so are cornices and simple wall relief ornaments. Decorative pilasters are currently plastered, while originally they were decorated with geometrical patterns. Interior adornment includes silkworm, butterfly and mulberry leaves, which means that in the 19th century the building was specially designed for Silk Museum, that’s why it turns out to be exceptional and unique all over the world.
Remarkable is the authentic library and exhibition hall furniture made to the designs of Alexander Szymkiewicz, in the carpenters workshop in basement of the building.
The process of rehabilitation and restoration of the bulding has started in 2020. (ntch)
Translation: Ana Kiasashvili
Photos: Silk Museum Archive, Nino Tchatchkhiani