Tbilisi Business Centre: A Tower of Coins
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The new Tbilisi Business Centre was developed after a visit to the site and a careful consideration of how to create a new building next to George Chakhava and Jurab Jalanghania’s Bank of Georgia, formerly Ministry of Highways, a listed national monument of Georgia.
As the Bank of Georgia is a massive concrete building, we wanted to create something light and glassy.
As the Bank of Georgia is boxy and full of ninety degree angles, we wanted to create something rounded and without any angles.
As Chakhava’s building uses the “Space-City” method which allows space to flow through the building, we wanted to create a building that is instead spatially compact.
As the B.o.G is created out of horizontal cantilevering beam floors, we wanted to create a vertical building.
In order to not be overshadowed by such a powerful neighbour, and in turn not to overshadow it, we wanted Tbilisi Business Centre to match the height of the B.o.G and to be built at an appropriate distance from it.
If the Bank if Georgia’s shape is very ‘male’ because of the sharp angles, Tbilisi Business Centre is ‘female’ because of its rounded shape.
The initial concept models, perhaps appropriately for a business centre, were made with coins on a table. This allowed many different combinations to be tested very quickly.
The spiral idea was inspired from the Georgian Gold collection at the Georgian National Museum. This is maybe Georgia’s most important national treasure in terms of history and culture.
The first and most ancient items in the display, dating from at least the 7th century BC are Colchetian gold rings that were used as hair bands at around the height of a woman’s temple.
Most of these gold temple rings are spiral in shape. We thought there was a lot of power in their beauty and simplicity, and thought it significant to recall an ancient geometrical shape into modern times.
Robin Monotti believes that the history of art is not simply evolutionary, but at times circular, and very ancient artefacts can also be perceived as very contemporary. He has already applied this idea of bringing ancient design ideas to contemporary problems in the competition winning Watering Holes drinking fountains for the Royal Parks in London, inspired by a type of sun dial dating back to ancient Greece.