The inaugural Tbilisi Architectural Biennale has kicked off with a programme dedicated to unravelling the unique neighbourhoods of the Georgian capital.
Based in Tbilisi’s Gldani District, the event is the first of its kind in the Southern Caucasus country.
The biennale’s theme is “Buildings Are Not Enough” and the line-up of events includes a series of public lectures, workshops, guided tours and film screenings, each tracking the chaotic decline and redevelopment of urban spaces after the end of communism.
“Residential buildings in former Soviet micro-districts of Tbilisi were built upon an idealistic vision of a happy collective life,” say event organisers. “But the buildings were not enough to ensure the well-being of residents — and in a similar vein, these micro-districts and the social housing were not enough to create collectivism.”
By exploring Tbilisi’s chaotic reconstruction in the 1990s, the biennale aims to rethink the impact of rapid political change on cities across the New East.
“On the one hand, this phenomenon is the response of ordinary city dwellers to absolute architecture,” say organisers. “On the other, [it’s] a demonstration of socio-economic disorder.”
For more information, check out the biennale website here.