Project: “Peace Monument” Rehabilitation Project and Facilities
Customer: Kazbegi Municipality
Total Area: 7745 sq.m
Building Area: 445 sq.m
Team: IDAAF Architects | Saxon Management Services
Location: Gudauri, Georgia
Ski resort Gudauri is located 120 km away from Tbilisi, at an altitude of 2196 m above sea level. This village, on the southern slopes of the Caucasus, is distinguished by its proximity to the capital, with interesting slopes and impressive views, where the number of tourists is increasing annually. During the ski season, which starts from the end of November and continues until April, Gudauri is working full-time. The “Peace Monument”, which is located 3,6 km away from Gudauri, is a creation of a well-known Georgian architect Giorgi (Gogi) Chakhava. He is also the creator of a cult building “Road Construction Ministry” in Tbilisi (now the head office of the Bank of Georgia).
The monument is located on a high hill, away from the road, with impressive views on the valley and mountains. It is interesting in its forms: monotonic arches creates harmony with mountain shapes, while the colorful mosaic on which the well-known painter-designer Nodar Malazonia has worked, is in absolute contrast to the environment and attracts attention from the very first sight. The monument was built in 1983 in Georgia during Soviet Union times. It was dedicated to the Treaty of Georgievsk and the 200th anniversary of Georgia-Russia friendship. The construction / structure is one of the interesting examples of Soviet modernism and is still in constant attention due to its forms, size and color mosaics. During the year it hosts a lot of tourists or local visitors. On the internet and in printed publications you will frequently come across impressive panoramas of both the mosaic and landscape which can be overlooked from this place.
The Peace Monument is not only an interesting and beautiful structure but also a valuable one, on which distinguished Georgians worked. It is an important example of Soviet modernism and its significance has become even more clear when one of the most influential publications in the world – TASCHEN published it in its book: “CCCP – Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed”.
It should be maintained by preserving recreational zones and creating the most comfortable environment for tourists. Rehabilitation of this place is important both in terms of developing the tourism potential of the country, as well as the involvement of locals and exchange of information. Besides the fact that it will become a kind of information center, it will also enjoy cultural significance where visitors will be able to get acquainted with the history / culture of this region, relax in a pleasant atmosphere, enjoy spectacular views and plan important things.
The monument is consisting of 1217 tiles. At present a number of tiles are lost, which after rehabilitation will be restored using identical mosaic tiles.
“Keeping and preserving any of these types of memorials does not necessarily mean glorifying the period, but we can view it as a symbol of undesirable political alliance. Do not associate this monument with the glory of the Soviet Union, because it is dedicated to the Treaty of Georgievsk which belongs to the history of a deeper past. From the artistic point of view, apart from the identity of the authors, it independently is also a rather valuable work. Generally, I believe that, we should not be deciding the fate of such colossal and valuable monuments single-handedly, based only on emotions. Such issues require a little deeper understanding and gentle attitude.”- Nini Palavandishvili (Soviet Mosaic researcher, GeoAir.ge)
Planning of the area began with the development of a general plan project. The road in the vicinity of the monument was made more comfortable and adapted for disabled people, to connect it with parking. The parking lot is designed for 25 cars, including hybrids, 3 buses and bicycles. All the details in the project are adapted for people with disabilities. Apart from this a building and a modernized recreational zone were located on the general plan. The building itself represents a long rectangle the main idea of which is not to draw more attention than the monument itself and harmonize it with the existing environment. It has one floor and the height does not exceed 4 m. There are glass facades that reflect the environment and the building seems to be camouflaged.
On the roof there are green plants. Although the area is in the alpine zone and the plants are less useful here, we considered it as an interesting experiment to replant bushes from the adjoining gorges on the roof of the building and create some sort of unexpected effect on the visitors.
The building has a café with a kitchen, a souvenir shop / info center, a public toilet, additional facilities and a conference / exhibition hall, where it will be possible to plan events and exhibitions at any time of the year. This is important in order to exhibit interesting materials connected to this place, facts, events, authors, etc. It should be noted that only natural materials will be used in the building. Natural tree brings warmth in the interior, and high stained glasses enable to enjoy the 360-degree surroundings.