Name(s): Bank of Georgia HQ, “visi visashia” (“whose is in whose”; fill in the blanks)
Architect: Giorgi Chakhava, Zurab Jalaghania, Temur Tkhilava (engineer)
Location: Gagarin Street, Tbilisi
Use(s): Ministry of Highway Construction, Bank of Georgia headquarters
Fun facts: Completely renovated in 2010-2011 to become a headquarters for the Bank of Georgia; developers added LUCEM, a German-made “translucent concrete.” The design is based on a concept known as “Space City,” which attempts to cover less ground and leave the space below the building for nature. The architects were inspired by the form of a forest (vertical elements as trunks, horizontal elements as canopies).
Name(s): Institute of Marxism and Leninism (IML; “Imeli”)
Architect: Alexey Shchusev
Location: Rustaveli Avenue, Tbilisi
Use(s): Institute of Marxism and Leninism, Constitutional Court, proposed luxury hotel
Fun facts: Although Imeli was added to heritage lists in 1986, in October 2007 the Ministry of Culture and Tbilisi City Hall illegally de-listed the building in order to sell it to foreign luxury hotel investors, who proceeded to gut and partially demolish the building. Public protests and petitions by groups like Tiflis Hamqari cried foul, but at this point much damage has already been done–the entire historic interior was removed, one wing was demolished, and the roof was partially dismantled (exposing the building to the elements and compromising its otherwise perfectly sound structural integrity). The original developers backed out, and a new hotel group purchased the building and proposes to build a skyscraper atop the original structure.
Name(s): Wedding Palace, Palace of Ceremonies/Rituals
Architect: Viktor Djorbenadze
Location: on the left bank of the Mtkvari River, near Aragveli Bridge
Use(s): wedding venue and registry, private residence
Fun facts: One of Eduard Shevardnadze’s secularizing pet projects, the Wedding Palace was intended to provide stubbornly-Orthodox Georgians with an elegant alternative to the traditional cathedral wedding. It was apparently abandoned throughout the 1990s, until it was purchased in 2001 by Arkady (“Badri”) Patarkatsishvili, a wealthy businessman. After facing criminal allegations in Russia, he returned to Georgia, became extensively involved in local sports and politics, and even ran for president in 2008–he came in third, with 7% of the vote. Around this time, Georgian news stations variously accused him of corruption and bribery (likely), and even murder (less likely). He died of heart failure in 2008 at his mansion in England, although much suspicion surrounds his death and rumor has it that he was “eliminated” by the Georgian authorities. The palace is thought to remain in the possession of his widow.
Other buildings and structures
I don’t have enough information on these to make profiles, but here are some photos: