Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia, has attracted increasing international attention in recent years: Buildings play no small part in its reputation, as evidenced by the urban megaprojects enacted by successive administrations, countless real estate adverts shilling surrealist investment properties, and the recent establishment of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennial.
Architecture, in fact, offers perhaps the best guide to the myriad contradictions of the city‘s history: Tbilisi is a Silk Road outpost with caravanserais newer than brownstone Brooklyn. The Orientalist landmarks that prompted many a traveller to invoke the Thousand and One Nights were, in fact, usually built by members of a German minority emulating European trends. Today, touts may peddle tours of Brutalist Soviet ruins, but one would be hard pressed to find clear examples of the style within city limits.
This book helps to unravel the different layers of this fascinating metropolis. It does so by providing in-depth profiles of more than 120 buildings, themed guides to many others (sacred architecture, Art Nouveau, Constructivism), and essays contributed by local scholars.