Investigating the Soviet-era concrete benches and their role in contemporary Tbilisi. In the project a group of architects and researchers reflect on different ways to approach decaying concrete benches and their forgotten use in public space.
The Soviet-era concrete benches are still an integral part of many local parks and neighborhood locations in Tbilisi, but their function has changed during decades. These benches stand nowadays more as visual forgotten monuments than functional objects. They are considered more as ruins or remains of the past.
The project concentrates on these “boat-shaped” concrete benches. There are two different variants: single and double-seat versions, which both use to have a wooden sitting part. The project aims to alter the single-seat bench in dialogue with architects and architecture students.
The project participates in the Soviet heritage discussions within the Post-Soviet contemporary landscape, being vocal about functionality. We are trying to start a dialogue with a bench from different positions, and at the same time make historical layers more visible for everyday life.
The project takes its physical form in a small park nearby Ilia State University’s campus, in a space where these ten single benches were transferred after Chavchavadze Avenue’s renovation. The location was not chosen but appointed for us. This is a new location for benches also and provides therefore a place where a meaningful dialogue can occur.
The project includes research made by Nutsa Labadze, Salome Malatsidze, and Giorgi Kajaia.
In a collaboration with Ilia State University.