PRINT April 2013

Nikoloz Japaridze

Architects of Invention, Tbilisi Prosecutor’s Office, 2012, Georgia. Photo: Nakanimamasakhisi Photo Lab.

A SUPERCATHEDRAL IN TBILISI, a massive new parliament dome in Kutaisi, the first building of the new planned city of Lazika: Recent years have seen an incredible period of construction in Georgia, during which ambitious new buildings such as these have appeared with astonishing rapidity. But like all post-Soviet countries, Georgia faces a dual challenge: that of establishing a new identity for the twenty-first century while preserving its own history. Both are complex tasks today. Realizing a locally specific and sensitive architecture is increasingly difficult in our era of globalized icon-building, where the look of contemporaneity is ever more generic, and frenzied growth rarely leaves time for thoughtful consideration of existing urban fabrics or as yet undeveloped rural landscapes. Meanwhile, Georgia’s architectural heritage not only encompasses a unique mix of Eastern and

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