ორსართულიანი საცხოვრებელი კოტეჯის მაკეტი

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The model for a two-storied cottage © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

პანელის აღწერა: სიგანე – 40 სმ
-სიგრძე, 60 სმ-დან 6600 სმ-მდე
, სისქე – 10 სმ
, მაქსიმალური წონა – 0.5 ტონა. ყოველი 60 სმ-ის მანძილზე (ღერძებში) ან 60 სმ-ის ჯერად მანძილზე აქვს ამოჭრილი U-ფორმის ფოსოები, ჩაღრმავებები, რომლებიც პანელების ერთმანეთთან მარტივად და მყარად შეერთების საშუალებას იძლევა დამატებითი სამაგრების გარეშე.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The panels were 40cm wide, between 60cm and 660 cm long, and 10cm thick. Their maximum weight was half a ton. There were U-shaped holes every 60cm, openings that would allow an effortless and firm junction, without the use of any additional fastening agents. Top: a Panel. Bottom: a corner joint. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

სქემაზე გამოსახულია სამშენებლო ელემენტებით საცხოვრებელი, ორმაგკედლიანი სახლის აწყობის პრინციპი.საჭიროების შემთხვევაში, განსაკუთრებით კი სეისმიურ ზონებში შეიძლება აწყობილი ელემენტების გამაგრება სპეციალური ღეროებით. კვანძების დეტალები უნიფიცირებულია. მარჯვენა სურათზე კუთხის კვანძია წარმოდგენილი – ერთზე მეტი სართულის შემთხვევაში პანელებით ორმაგი კედელი შენდება, აუცილებელია კუთხეების გამაგრება არმირებული ბეტონით და საჭიროების შემთხვევაში კედლებს შორის სივრცის შევსება თბოსაიზოლაციო მასალით.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The principle of assembling an apartment building with double walls, using the building elements. In high risk seismic zones, the assembled elements might be reinforced with special rods. All details of the joints were combined; In a multi-storey building, panels created double walls which required the strengthening of the corners with reinforced concrete. In some cases the gaps between walls were filled with insulation materials. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

გამოგონების საავტორო უფლება გაცემულია გიორგი ჩახავას სახელზე 1981 წელს სსრკ გამოგონებებისა და აღმოჩენების სახელმწიფო კომიტეტის მიერ და დარეგისტრირებული სსრკ გამოგონებების სახელმწიფო რეესტრში. განმცხადებელი: საქართველოს გზების სამეცნიერო-კვლევითი და საწარმოო-ტექნოლოგიური ინსტიტუტი „გრუზორგდორნიი“ (რუს).
 გამოგონების პრიორიტეტი – 1971 წელი. გამოგონების სახელწოდება: „სამშენებლო ელემენტი“.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The patent for the invention “Building elements” was granted to George Chakhava in 1981 by the Soviet Union State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries and was registered in the USSR State Registry Office. The applicant was the Industrial-technological Research Institute for Roads of Georgia (‘Gruzorgdornii’ in Russian). The invention priority date was 1971. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

გამოგონების საავტორო უფლება გაცემულია ავტორების ჯგუფზე 1981 წელს სსრკ გამოგონებებისა და აღმოჩენების სახელმწიფო კომიტეტის მიერ და დარეგისტრირებული სსრკ გამოგონებების სახელმწიფო რეესტრში. გამოგონება სამშენებლო ინდუსტრიის სფეროდანაა და გამიზნულია არსებული კონვეიერის წარმადობის გასაზრდელად და ელექტროენერგიის მოხმარების შესამცირებლად. ავტორები: პუმინცევი, შილოვი, ვალერიან ჩიქობავა, გიორგი ჩახავა, თენგიზ ჩიკვაიძე. გამოგონების პრიორიტეტი – 1979 წელი.
 გამოგონების სახელწოდება: „კონვეირეული ხაზი რკინა-ბეტონის ნაკეთობების დასამზადებლად“.

The patent for the “Conveyer belt for making reinforced concrete” was granted to the group of designers in 1981 by the Soviet Union State Committee for Inventions and Discoveries and was registered in the USSR State Registry Office. The invention fell within the category of “the building industry” and was designed to increase conveyer belt productivity and to reduce electricity consumption. The designers were Pumintsev, Shilov, Valerian Chikobava, George Chakhava, and Tengiz Chikvaidze. The invention priority date was 1979. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

პანელების აწყობის პროცესი

©არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

Construction in progress © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

პანელების აწყობის პროცესი

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

Construction in progress © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

საქართველოს გზების მშენებლობის სამინისტროს შენობა. მშენებლობის პროცესი. ქვემოთ, სურათის ცენტრში დროებითი ნაგებობა, სავარაუდოდ “ოფისი”, აგებული “სამშენებლო ელემენტებით”.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

Construction in progress of the building for the Ministry of Road Construction. At the bottom in the picture: Temporary building, perhaps an “office” assembled with "Building panels". © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

საქართველოს გზების მშენებლობის სამინისტროს მშენებლობის პროცესი. აწყობილი და მოგვიანებით დაშლილი დროებითი ნაგებობა, სავარაუდოდ “ოფისი”, აგებული “სამშენებლო ელემენტებით”.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

Construction in progress of the building for the Ministry of Road Construction An assembled and disassembled temporary building, perhaps an “office”. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

გაგრის ხიდის მშენებლობის პროცესი. 18 მ სიმაღლის ბურჯის მსენებლობა ერთი კვირა გაგრძელდა

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

Construction in progress of the bridge in Gagra. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

ხიდი გაგრაში

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The bridge in Gagra © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

ბენზინგასამართი სადგური.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The petrol station © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ნიგოზა-კოდისწყლის გადასახვევთან. აშენებულია 12 საათში. დანგრეულია 2017 წ.

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The bust stop at the turning for Nigoza-Kodistskali. Construction time - 12 hours. Demolished in 2017. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ნიგოზა-კოდისწყლის გადასახვევთან. გადაღებულია 2016-2017 წლის ზამთარში.

©ფოტო: ნანა ზაალიშვილი

The bust stop at the turning for Nigoza/Kodistskali. The photograph was taken in the winter of 2016-17. ©Image: Nana Zaalishvili

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ნიგოზა-კოდისწყლის გადასახვევთან. გადაღებულია 2017 წლის ივლისში.

პავილონი დანგრეულია, დარჩა ხოლოდ ხეები. სურათზე ჩანს მოშორებით დადგმული ახალი გაჩერება.

©ფოტო: ნანა ზაალიშვილი

The image was taken in July 2017, only the trees were left at the site, which was empty, and overgrown with grass. On this photograph it is possible to see in the distance a newly built bus stop. ©Image: Nana Zaalishvili

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ქანდაში

© არქიტექტორ გ.ჩახავას არქივი

The bus shelter at Qanda. © Architect G.Chakhava's archive

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ქანდაში

©ფოტო: ნანა ზაალიშვილი

The bus shelter at Qanda ©Image: Nana Zaalishvili

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ტეზერასთან. 2017 წ.

©ფოტო: ელისო სულაკაური

The bus shelter at Tezera. 2017 ©Image: Elisso Sulakauri

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ბორჯომში

©ფოტო:ნინი ფალავანდიშვილი

The bus shelter in Borjomi © Image: Nini Palavandishvili

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ბორჯომში

©ფოტო:ნინი ფალავანდიშვილი

The bus shelter in Borjomi © Image: Nini Palavandishvili

კვლევის დროს სტრუქტურის გააზრებისთვის საინტერესო იყო ბორჯომის პავილიონის გეგმებისა და ფასადების გამოხაზვა – გეგმა ეყრდნობა ელემენტის მოდულს და იხაზება 60 x 60 სმ ზომის ბადეზე.

©ნინო ჩაჩხიანი

In order to understand the structure better, and as part of our research, we made an experimental drawing of the plan and elevation of the Borjomi pavilion. The plan is based on the module of an element and can be drawn on 60X60 grid paper. Thanks to the strict logic of George Chakhava’s ingenious invention, it was easy to make a drawing of the shelter using only the photographs. ©Nino Tchatchkhiani

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ბორჯომში. დეკორატიული კერამიკული პანო

©ფოტო:ელისო სულაკაური

The bus shelter in Borjomi. Decorative ceramic tiles © Image: Elisso Sulakauri

ავტობუსის გაჩერება ბორჯომში. დეკორატიული კერამიკული პანო

©ფოტო:ელისო სულაკაური

The bus shelter in Borjomi. Decorative ceramic tiles © Image: Elisso Sulakauri

Series_Georgian architects_George Chakhava

“There is nothing more noble and elegant from an intellectual viewpoint than this: To resist through form.” Eladio Dieste, 1987

The purpose of this article is to present one of the inventions of the architect George Chakhava, namely, the use of elements of reinforced concrete as a building material for different kinds of architectural structures. Pre-fabricated panels assembled in various shapes and forms have infinite possibilities, on a small or a large scale. Apartment blocks or even piers of bridges can be built using universal elements that can create firm and reliable structures. These structures are autonomous, and do not require additional reinforcement. They can be easily erected on pad or strip foundations.
Apart from their technical specifications, these structures are remarkable from an architectural point of view, since they are not repetitive; although they share the same modular elements, each example is made on a different scale. Thus every building is both unique and is at the same time a constituent member of the same system. This becomes clear when we study surviving buildings -bus stops- erected between 1970 and 1980. In the winter of 2016-17 four such structures existed on the road between Tbilisi and Borjomi, but our enquiries revealed that one of them (at the Nigoza-Kodistskaro turning) was later destroyed.

“The Building Element”
George Chakhava created and developed in detail the construction process of a panel, his “element”. He worked out methods of assembling the components, and created connecting joints. He also worked on the arrangement of a conveyer belt for the manufacture and quality control of elements. The patent for this invention was granted to George Chakhava in 1981. The name of the invention was “Building elements”. The document has attachments illustrating the principles of construction.
The practical advantages of assembling reinforced concrete panels:
Low cost material, compact size, light weight, easily portable, fast construction and easy instalment.
The panels do not require to be bonded in situ; no plastering or coating is needed.
The light weight material requires a simple lifting technique (e.g. a small building crane), can be easy installed and does not require qualified labour.
In an explanatory letter to the Soviet Central government Chakhava proposed that houses built in the cold climate zone (-40) should be insulated by filling the spaces between the walls with sieved earth, while in case a zone with a temperature of -50 degrees, sawdust should be added to the earth for insulation. This proposal was intended to the Baikal-Amur Mainline building project, where there was a great need for portable temporary buildings.

The Conveyer Belt for Making Panels
All panels were made with the same machine. Technical working drawings of the machinery and the conveyer belt were prepared in Almaty in collaboration with the Kazakhstan Ministry of Road and Transport. The machinery was of simple construction, required a small space, and was designed to produce 50,000 panels a year. The name of the invention was “Conveyer belt for making reinforced concrete”.
The panels differed only in length, thus all panels could be manufactured using the same matrix. To achieve the required length, it was enough to insert a simple partition frame aligned with a module. The advantage of the Chakhava panel is that the length and the distance between the holes and openings of all panels were aligned with a module (60cm). Unlike other elements, Chakhava’s principle allowed the panels to be manufactured in a fully automatic regime.

Bus stops
The architectural form of the bus stop is widespread globally and it has attracted much interest of late. Bus stops are distinctive features, and even serve as landmarks on roads and side streets. For example as in Krumbach, Forarlberg region of Austria where the municipality invited international architects to build seven new bus stops. They have been included in touristic routes and attract thousands of tourists.

Several foreign publications have recently been dedicated to Soviet modernist architecture. This includes bus shelters, among them pavilions at Georgian bus stops. In this respect Christopher Herving’s publication is noteworthy, the second volume of which will be published this year.

In 1977 a Polish journal published an article about a series of bus shelters by G. Chakhava. …”Some of them were erected of prefabricated elements of one type, thus revealing unexpected possibilities of construction. In a special publication George Chakhava describes a whole range of uses of elements, going far beyond the building of stop shelters. The latter, usually built as typical small architectural objects, are highly individualized and differentiated in expression.” (Wojciech Skrodzki,”projekt”, Visual art and design, 4/77)

Documents preserved in George Chakhava’s archive show that pavilions were built in Kartli and Abkhazia, and they may have been built on roads elsewhere in Georgia as well. We have no information concerning the condition of the bus pavilions in Abkhazia. Observations regarding those in Kartli should apply to all bus shelters, even if they are not known to us at the moment. As we have already noted, only four Chakhava pavilions were preserved in 2017, but we unexpectedly discovered later that one of them was gone, and that there was an empty space instead. Nevertheless, we shall discuss all four pavilions instead of three, in order to emphasize the importance of their preservation. We have given emblematic names to the bus stops we describe, based on the names of nearby towns and villages. These are the bus stop pavilions at Borjomi, Tezera, Nigoza and Qanda.The stops at Borjomi and Tezera are situated in section (8) between Khashuri and Borjomi, the former Nigoza and Qanda bus stops (E60) are situated at the 1 (E60) section of the Mtskheta-Gori road. The existing pavilions seem neglected and some panels are badly damaged, but in general their condition might be described as satisfactory. The panels were once painted, but the paint worn off with the passage of time. This creates the impression that panels are in a pitiful condition which is not entirely true.

Each one of these four pavilions is completely different. Some of are planned symmetrically, others not. They also differ in size, their roofs are flat or curved, and different colours were used for painting the panels. Tezera shelter apart, they were all decorated with mosaic tiles, depicting the Sun, flowers, birds and abstract patterns. It would appear that the shelters were decorated by the same unknown artist. The ceramic tiles are almost completely preserved, although some areas are damaged and some details are missing.

Nigoza (demolished in 2017)
The bust stop at Nigoza was situated at the roadside, close to the turning for Nigoza/Kodistskali. It was well preserved in the winter of 2016-17. The pavilion was larger in size; its elegant form was painted in white. It could well be that as a consequence of the construction of the new road, a more convenient place was selected for the bus stop, but why was it necessary to destroy the old bus shelter? We can think of at least two reasons why it should have been preserved:
1.The old bus shelter pavilion could be used as place for people to rest
2.It would have been easy to disassemble and transfer the shelter to the new position, which was why the construction concept had originally been created.

Qanda
The Qanda pavilion is a smaller, U-shaped structure in plan. The building has a curved roof, indicating that the elements can be used to create flat as well as curved roofs, which once more emphasizes their universality. The main structure at Qanda is well preserved, but one of the ‘windows’ is badly damaged. The main façade is decorated in the same style as the Borjomi pavilion, depicting the Sun or a flower Perhaps the repetitive pattern was used to show the connection between these pavilions. The inner surface is decorated with very different glazed tiles. Each tile is inserted into the double holes between the panels, so that the whole surface is decorated with colourful vertically arranged octagonal ‘spots’. The outer surfaces are sealed with the standard constructional details, from a distance creating the impression of white spots. The bus shelter is neglected, the paint is worn, and ceramic tiles are missing or damaged, but they could be easily restored.

Tezera
The bus stop at Tezera is distinguished by its simple forms. It is situated right by the roadside and is probably the only one that still functions as a bus stop. The structure is symmetrical, was closed on three sides and has a flat roof. The shelter is not decorated with ceramic tiles unlike the previous examples. This does not, however, diminish its decorative effect. The shape of the panels and the rhythmically arranged holes on the surface are enough to make the surface not dull but playful. The panels are in good shape and could be cleaned and repainted.

Borjomi
The Borjomi bus stop is situated near a bridge on the right bank of the river Kura. There are two kinds of roofing elements. The roof covers two sides of the shelter, while the rest is open; the left rear corner is open as well. This shelter is distinguished by its open planning. The roof construction on the main façade joins three pairs of metal columns. The freestanding monolithic wall at the back is decorated with mosaics. The metal columns rest on a freestanding wall and hold the rear part of the roofing elements. This composition is not repeated in the other pavilions. Almost every element is preserved, but some have mechanical damage or an exposed metal armature. Paint has come off the panels, but in general the pavilion is in a good condition. It could be restored easily and returned to its function as a bus shelter. The relatively large decorative ceramic tiles are almost completely preserved, and it should be no hardship to clean, repair and restore the tiles.

Summary
The pavilions built using G. Chakhava’s innovative technique of “building elements’’ represent the best tradition of Georgia’s engineering and industrial culture. They are unique in their own right and distinctive from an architectural point of view. They are the result of George Chakhava’s concept of assembling panels and their mass production using the conveyor belt. Our research indicates for sure where these structures came from. The success of Chakhava’s invention lay in its simplicity and ingenuity, which can and should be revived. To restore the business of panel-making would be an unprecedented example of the regeneration of our industrial heritage.

George Chakhava’s name and his popularity secures the potential of his creations to contribute to the tourist industry. All of the buildings we have discussed must be protected by law and given the status of architectural monuments, as well as being restored to their previous functions. In order to fully explore their potential, the buildings should be cleaned, restored, lit and added to the local tourist route. Perhaps solar panels could be used for lighting the buildings, an approach in tune with George Chakhava’s ideas. Judging by documents from his archive, he was working on the advantages of the solar energy 40 years ago. The rehabilitation of the three surviving pavilions would not be too costly and their maintenance could be managed without burdening local budgets.
There were four of such bus stops on the road from Tbilisi to Borjomi, now only three are left. They should be put on tourist maps and boards provided with brief details about the architect.
Municipal administrations and the bodies responsible granting road building permits should be informed and educated to prevent the repetition of the Nigoza-Kodistskali bus stop scenario, when a valuable structure was distroyed. We believe that if the bodies responsible for roads had been appropriately informed, demolition could have been prevented.
We realize that it is not easy to preserve small architectural buildings in these days of rapid development. The only way to prevent destruction would be to grant them the status of Cultural Heritage Monuments. In our view there are more than enough arguments for these bus shelters to be preserved and their function restored in order to pass them on to the next generation. George Chakhava’ bus stops deserve to be preserved as monuments of architectural and engineering interest.

Architect George Chakhava (1923-2007)
George Chakhava held the title of Honoured Architect, was the recipient of many awards; The principal construction of George Chakhava in collaboration with Zurab Jalagania, the building of the former Ministry of Road Construction (1972-1975), has enjoyed international fame in professional circles from the very beginning and continues to do so today. The former Ministry of Road Construction building, which now houses the Bank of Georgia, became a beacon of contemporary architecture and the name of its creator, George Chakhava, became well-known to professionals and lovers of architecture all over the world. George Chakhava belonged to a school of architects who consider architecture and engineering to be intertwined in a complete synthesis. He was not only a distinguished architect, but his projects and inventions were exceptional both in engineering science and in the philosophy of the history of construction in 20th century Georgia.
Although 20th century Georgian architects were working behind the Iron Curtain and had limited access to information about architectural developments in the rest of the world, this generation inherited a “Georgian” reflection of almost every trend and style, every construction method and material of the time. Many examples of Georgian modernist architecture are now demolished, many are subject to the constant threat of destruction, and only two of them have the status of a Cultural Heritage Monument. One of them is the Ministry of Road Construction by George Chakhava and Zurab Jalagania. We should be proud of our architectural heritage, and buildings of this period should be preserved for generations to come.

We would like to express our gratitude to G.Chakhava for allowing us to access the private archive of his father George Chakhava.
Our thanks go to Nini Palavandishvili, Nana Zaalishvili and Elisso Sulakauri for assisting us in our hunt for the material, and for providing photographs and support for the article.

P.S. The pavilion in Borjomi has been granted a status of a cultural monument! Many thanks to the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Georgia!

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