As part of an innovative business corridor in the northern area of Tbilisi’s city centre, GRAFT developed a masterplan for the Didube Chughureti District that creates a scenic and dynamic landscape and a healthy work environment with a wide range of activities for visitors and residents. The development comprises a series of buildings that vary in scale and composition, reorganizing the site while meshing with the existing urban fabric.
The masterplan proposes large public squares that serve as meeting points, business centres and social hubs that together with the new railway museum and adjoining parks form a new cultural centre. GRAFT takes an integral approach to the design of the site and its buildings, allowing the landscape to transition into the buildings. The centre of the new urban situation is marked by the introduction of more densely placed vertical structures culminating in two innovative towers at the main junction. The two distinctive towers create a new urban gateway that marks the head offices of the Georgian Railway Company and defines the new urban landscape.
The facades of the towers appear to divide like a railway junction. In one continuous motion, the facade translates from a horizontal roof that covers the railway museum and adjoining atrium into the vertical sun shades of the towers housing the Georgian Railway Company, fusing the two functions together into a single coherent building concept.
The new open-air museum features locomotives from the Georgian Railway Company, and for the first time brings together all their exhibits, vehicles and historic artefacts in one place.
The atrium combines social areas and cafeteria as well as a large public staircase that serves as a place for people to rest, meet and discuss, and to draw inspiration from past, present and future means of transport.
GRAFT was founded in 1998 in Los Angeles by Lars Krueckeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit. With additional studios in Berlin and Beijing, the hybrid office works around the globe in the fields of architecture, urban development, design and communications and is known for its experimental and multi-disciplinary design approach. Since its founding, the office has undertaken self-initiated projects alongside design commissions, including the SOLARKIOSK and its work as a founding partner of the Make It Right Foundation and with Heimat2. In 2014, GRAFT’s partners founded GRAFT Brandlab together with Linda Stannieder, a communications agency working at the intersection of architecture, design and branding. GRAFT comprises an interdisciplinary team of 150 employees.
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