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Old cinema studio competition


Hotel/Offices/Residential and commercial


Tbilisi, Georgia


43 887 sq.m


Competition entry




James O’Brian, Joseph Van der Steen, Nutsa Nadareishvili, Shota Saganelidze, Sopo Mamulashvili, Giorgi Tsintsabadze, Salome Sarishvili, Nini Jabidze, Mariam Gelashvili, Hannah Keane, Waldo Sanchez

In collaboration with

OBVDS - O’Brian Van der Steen Workshops

The proposal focuses on creating a new dynamic cultural institution and venue for Tbilisi, building upon the historic importance and character of the existing Film Studio, adding to it and the public urban realm around it.
Two new buildings housing the hotel, serviced apartments and residences form a new urban plaza. The exterior of the southwest facade of the film studio is re-imagined as an urban canvas, screen and stage set that, in conjunction with the new public square forms an urban theatre.
The existing building becomes the center point of a new series of spaces in and around which a variety of cultural activities take place. Rather than treating a public, cultural program of events and uses as something that only takes place within a building, we imagine it as something that takes place in and around a building, extending the engagement and attraction of the film studio beyond its boundaries.
Within the building new galleries, studios workshops and offices are inserted within a lightweight structure that sits against and references the existing building’s character. A food hall occupies part of the ground floor, encouraging by-passers to enter and spend time within the newly renovated space. A large ramp connects the interior of the space to a sunken public space, creating a dynamic and inviting means of connection between the interior and exterior spaces, helping them flow together and feel as one.
The program for the hotel and residences are located in towers whose forms are derived to both define and give precedence to the public space whilst also forming a new landmark on the city skyline.
The central square is conceived as a genuinely urban space, framed by old and new buildings, recently built and recently renovated and reimagined. These buildings and the public space interact with one another, pouring into one another and engendering them with use, activity and energy. Steps, ramps, colonnades, elevated walkways and large planters define different spaces as well as providing access.

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