WANTED: Unknown building, Kostava street, Tbilisi

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RETROGRAD is looking for information on a seemingly forgotten concrete superstructure on Kostava Street, Tbilisi. All we know so far is that it currently hosts a casino (“Europe”) and – rumour has it – that “they sell good frozen pelmeni there”. Nothing definite is known about its past – a google search for “brutalism” and “Tbilisi” reveals little more than a photograph with the caption “example of brutalism in Tbilisi, Georgia (sorry i dont know name of building)”.

RETROGRAD is looking for information on a seemingly forgotten concrete superstructure on Kostava Street, Tbilisi.

All we know so far is that it currently hosts a casino (“Europe”) and – rumour has it – that “they sell good frozen pelmeni there”. Nothing definite is known about its past – a google search for “brutalism” and “Tbilisi” reveals little more than a photograph with the caption “example of brutalism in Tbilisi, Georgia (sorry i dont know name of building)”.

If you know more about the history and fate of this building, or have any interesting associations with or memories related to it, please write a comment below, e-mail us at contact@retrograd.org.uk or write to us on facebook. The results of our exploration will be published in a follow-up article.

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 Images: Andrea Peinhopf

5 Comments
  1. Billy Bob 4 years ago
    Reply

    I know this building well – quite an eyesore. I just asked a couple of Georgian friends of mine about the building.

    At least for some period of time, a portion of the building was rented out by a local university. This was early to mid 1990s. Someone else also just mentioned that a “book publisher” was possibly in the building during the 1980s.

    All in all, a hideously ugly building that is completely out of touch with the neighborhood and is also totally unfriendly to pedestrians. You should create a wikipedia entry when you find out the history of the building.

  2. Vladimer Shioshvili 4 years ago
    Reply

    It is a scientific-technical library named after Miqeladze. Library moved in there in 1986. Which is I believe when it was built – sorry, I was too young back then to remember myself. Casino only occupies part of the building, and they actually butchered the building – they closed off what used to be a fairly large passageway under the building. Lots of little kiosks were added to the front of the building in last 10-15 years as well.

    • Billy Bob 4 years ago
      Reply

      Yes, I just got a message from a Georgian friend on Facebook who said that there was a large library there in the 1980s.

      Another friend also said that there was originally a “Europe” restaurant at some point, that simply changed from being a restaurant to a casino parlor named “Europe” – i’m guessing that they simply didn’t bother to change the name.

      I still think that the building is totally out of place for the neighborhood. If you walk down that side of Kostava Street, you’ll find yourself in a difficult to traverse parking lot. I keep thinking that don’t even have a sidewalk in the area – but i’d have to go back and check.

  3. This example of georian soviet modernist architecture was deisgned by Garry Bichiashvili in the beginning of 80-ies of the last century. We called it “techical library” and actually it was the only official place in Tbilisi where you can read the original copies of “L’Architecture D’ Aujourd’hui”, “Domus”, “Architectural Review”, “JA”, “The Canadian Architect” and many others. The former director and the initiator of moving to the new building was Mr. Revaz Gorgiladze. On this particular building one may write a whole story of the fate of Georgian modernist architecture, and also on other issues like urbanization, privatization, gambling, etc . . .

  4. Kv 4 years ago
    Reply

    It indeed for built and housed TechInform – technical science library and think-tank. Offices inside are small and dark. In the early 1990s parts of it were rented out to a restaurant, university, etc.

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