Open Letter

to Tbilisi City Hall

For a moratorium on Laguna Vere and its surrounding area!

Author Mariam Gegidze

The Laguna Vere complex is undergoing continuous and clandestine dismantling, with unique components of its iconic diving tower already vanished, leaving behind a stark concrete mass. While no official demolition permit can be found, it is abvious that the process of dismantling the building has already commenced. Both Laguna Vere and its surrounding area are at risk of being engulfed by financial speculation.

The Laguna Vere, owned by “Cartufund”, was purportedly closed for refurbishment a decade ago. However, no restoration work has since occurred, and the complex was officially sold last year. According to the City Hall, the new owner, “Neo City Development”, is considering donating Laguna Vere to the municipality, ostensibly to absolve itself from responsibility for the pool’s redevelopment.

If the swimming pool reverts to municipal ownership, private investors will seize the opportunity to undertake extensive building projects on the neighboring site of the former silk factory. Despite the area’s designation as a recreational zone, plans for a 65-storey complex are in motion. The rationale behind the new building’s function remains unclear, as does the intended beneficiaries of the planned shopping, dining, office, and residential space.

The value of Laguna Vere extends beyond its current state. Its significance lies in its architecture, function, and rich history – During the winter months of the 1990s, its doors remained open, welcoming thousands of city residents. However, given the current situation, it seems unlikely that the city council is considering restoring the Laguna Vere complex.

The effects of ongoing gentrification and touristification in Tbilisi’s central neighborhoods are becoming increasingly evident. The replacement of shared urban spaces by new, large-scale private buildings is leading to radical changes for the city’s residents. Today, when the limits of our planet are becoming increasingly apparent and the construction sector’s contribution to global warming is undeniable, the unjustified destruction of buildings and the absence of urban recreational areas are no longer tolerable.

Presently, there are no municipal open-air swimming pools in the central parts of Tbilisi. Therefore, the activation of such unique spaces like Laguna Vere holds greater importance in Tbilisi’s current reality.

We call on all parties involved in this deal to impose a moratorium until a transparent and public process for the development of the site is initiated!

Laguna Vere must not be subject to any non-transparent agreement between the municipality and a private investor. We call for the unconditional return of Laguna Vere to state ownership, emphasizing the state’s responsibility for its preservation and restoration. Laguna Vere – exclusively in its original function, will give Tbilisi back its lost value, the acquisition of which initially took several decades and was associated with many difficulties.

Desired Landscapes 07

A magazine reading into cities

Editor Natassa Pappa

Desired Landscapes is a small publishing house in Athens reading into a diverse mix of cities. A pocket-size magazine is published every nine month. Print co-exists with walking tours, collectively exploring the sense of place through visual culture.

Issue 07 hosts 16 cities, the widest collection so far, and one of them is Tbilisi, featured with an interview with the Tbilisi Architecture Archive.

Architecture Archives of the Future

10th Annual Conference
21-22.11.2023 Delft/Rotterdam

Jaap Bakema Study Centre

Copyright TU Delft, Nieuwe Instituut, the individual authors


“How to futurise the past, and curate the future?” – was the main question of the annual conference celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre. Architecture Archives of the Future aimed to explore the intersections and evolving relationships between architectural practice, archival research, and exhibition making. The intention was to collectively investigate the future of curatorial practices, architectural legacies, memory and knowledge, and so the future narratives of the manifold histories yet unknown.

Tbilisi Architecture Archive was invited to present its work at the conference in the section “Precarious Archives” and is part of the conference proceedings, which can be downloaded from the link provided.

Ze Gavlena 11

Architecture – current times and perspectives for future

Editor Mariam Shergelashvili

ISSN 2667-9728

Since 2021, the thematic online publication Ze Gavlena (ზეგავლენა – Influence in Georgian) is introducing the dynamics of contemporary Georgian art and current cultural processes to its readers. The eleventh issue, entitled “Architecture – Perspectives for the Present and Future”, contains interviews, essays, reviews and initiatives on various topics relevant to the local context.

In the section “Ze Gavlena presents – Current Initiatives”, the vision, aims and a brief summary of the work of the Tbilisi Architecture Archive are published.


Digitales Archiv Georgien

Publisher BauNetz

Editor Gregor Harbusch

BauNetz, a online magazine dedicated to architecture, was founded in Berlin in the 1990s. Today, the German-language platform combines various formats and editions and has millions of visitors. The themed edition BauNetzWOCHE appears approximately every two weeks. This issue 626, which is entitled “Digitales Archiv Georgien” (Digital Archive Georgia), is dedicated entirely to the Tbilisi Architecture Archive.

The interview with us and selected material from the Tbilisi Architecture Archive can be downloaded in pdf format from the link provided.

“Laguna Vere”– Publication

Editor Tbilisi Architecture Archive

Text Ramaz Kiknadze, Gaga Kiknadze, Nino Tchatchkhiani, Mariam Gegidze

Design arc Berlin

Printing and Binding Favorite, Tbilisi 2022

ISBN 9-789941-848599

Available in bookshops :

They said books
10 Akhvlediani St, Tbilisi 0108
Posta da Kona
10 Mazniashvili St, Tbilisi
Stamba books
14 Kostava St, Tbilisi 0108
pro qm
Almstadtstraße 48, 10119 Berlin
m books
Marktstraße 16, 99423 Weimar
Dorsoduro 2729, 30123 Venezia

The first printed edition of the Tbilisi Architecture Archive is entirely dedicated to the aquatic sports complex known as “Laguna Vere”. The publication of the book coincided with the Tbilisi City Hall’s announcement, that the complex will soon be returned to the municipal ownership and resume its original function. It is unclear whether this plan provides for the restoration of the existing structure in its original form. At the same time, it is known that the change of the status of the recreation zone and dense development are being considered for the surrounding area.

Many generations of Tbilisi residents have a strong emotional attachment and memories connected with this outstanding example of Georgian Modernism, which today is abandoned and on the verge of complete demolition. Due to the high public interest, we believe that all plans related to the future of “Laguna Vere” and its surrounding area should be discussed publicly, with the active involvement of professional circles and citizens. The aim of our publication is to encourage a wider understanding of the importance of unique urban spaces, which will in addition, be a pre-condition for taking care of them.

The bilingual book contains translations of architect Ramaz Kiknadze’s 1968 Explanatory Note of the Project; Gaga Kiknadze’s text “Vere Swimming Pool” describes the history of the project’s elaboration and construction; Nino Tchatchkhiani’s essay “It’s Sheer Brutalism” is devoted to the uniqueness of the diving tower; and the “Swimming Pool Issue” by Mariam Gegidze tells the short story of public swimming pool projects in Tbilisi during the socialist era.

The publication includes drawings, sketches, professional and amateur photographs from the National Archives and private collections.

“Laguna Vere”– Exhibition


“MAUDI”– Space for Contemporary Art
Address former Maudi factory, 140 Tsereteli Ave. Tbilisi, Georgia

As a part of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial “What’s Next”, the Maudi Gallery hosted the exhibition “Future Presence” dedicated to examples of late socialist architecture in Georgia and the Visegrad countries. In the exhibition participated the Czech Centre Tbilisi, the Visual Art, Architecture and Design School VA[A]DS and the Tbilisi Architecture Archive.

Our aim was to draw attention to the architectural value and socio-cultural significance of the aquatic sports complex „Laguna Vere”.

The exposition included the archival materials of National Archives of Georgia from „SakInform” Photochronics, Central Archives of Contemporary History and Audio-Visual Documents; Personal photographs of the visitors, sportsmen and the pupils of the kids’ sports school; Personal archives of architects Ramaz Kiknadze and Shota Kavlashvili; Personal archive of the artist Koka Ignatov; Personal archive of Laguna Vere’s former director, Vladimer Goiashvili; and a photograph from Simona Rota’s photo-collection ‘Ostalgia’.

We want to thank the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial and Exhibition organizers, as well the National Archives of Georgia and all of the people mentioned above for the wish to collaborate and share their archives with us.

The exhibition was financially supported by the Visegrad Fund and the Creative Europe program of the European Union.