Words By: Guram Sakvarelidze

The 20th-century architecture in Georgia is distinct with its thick concrete walls, industrial balconies, and windows, metal and cement skeleton frames, and interiors with high ceilings. Monumentality, the honesty of structure and material rawness, which define some of the notable brutalist structures in the city, are especially visible at Stamba Hotel, which is housed in the Soviet-era publishing house in the historic Vera neighborhood.

The façade of the building has been kept intact, while the massive, closed-up floors were completely deconstructed. The exposed concrete bones of the construction are enriched with tropical greenery, paintings by Georgian artists, vintage furniture, industrial bookshelves. Colorful lights emanate from opulent chandeliers, industrial lamps, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Ceramic insulators and metal buckets have been repurposed as potters for plants and placed in public spaces with brick and concrete walls, wooden floors and high ceilings. Hence, Stamba Hotel combines the brutalist rawness with vintage and repurposed design elements, with every part of the project telling a story from the past and providing inspiration for the future.

An image of the former Soviet-era publishing house in 1969

The monumentality of Stamba Hotel becomes apparent from the moment you walk into the five-floor lobby with an enormous concrete structure that once used to hold the rooms of the leading publishing house. The newspaper drying belt, which now hangs in the air as an installation, leads to the vast, interconnected public spaces, where crowds of people of all backgrounds intermingle, share their experiences, or find inspiration and personal peace.

Stamba Hotel

The structure of Stamba Hotel is straightforward, transparent, and honest in its distribution of spaces, while also providing space for personal inspiration and discovery. The pink bar counter of the hotel’s bar turns into the restaurant with industrial windows leather seats that are salad green and vintage wooden tables. The hotel’s Chocolaterie & Roastery and an Asian corner – Shio Ramen, are also placed in the same space. Cafe Stamba connects to the courtyard, where the first Georgian indoor vertical farm is situated near the Tbilisi Photography and Multimedia Museum. The guestroom floors overlook the lobby and open spaces of Stamba Hotel. Hence, these interconnected parts of the establishment create an experience of wholeness – the monumental building feels like a living organism, with a diverse array of functions.

Spatial Revolution Series

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