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The industrial pedagogical Technicum: A Vernacular Appropriation of Modernism

  • Ibrahim, Thomas (author)
Publication Date
Apr 29, 2021
TU Delft Repository
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The Industrial Pedagogical Technicum, completed in 1978, has developed a curious status among the large-scale construction projects of the Late-Soviet period in Georgia. The dimensions of curiosity result from the fact that, until 2017, the architect was unknown to most local architects and historians, and that there are few and inconsistent drawings of the building available in the public archives. Additionally, the location of the Technicum is also disconnected from the greater city, and a sculpture which was affixed to the auditorium facade, of unknown inspiration, was the only element that could be seen through the thick vegetation. The architectural process of designing and constructing the staircase leading to the Technicum auditorium terrace was based on the urban morphologies, historic vernaculars, and the contemporary vernaculars which are the texture of the city. The design was an attempt to represent the regional heritage of the IDP residents, while adopting the local informal methods of material sourcing and construction. Traces of activity show that the terrace of the building is still in use, as a result of the access staircase, though there have been several attempts by authorities to stymie this activity. The first chapter of this paper will elaborate the ontology of the Technicum and its sculpture, and examine the contemporary Georgian social and political matrix using past correspondence with governmental entities, active non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and surveys and interviews conducted with Tbilisi residents between 2017 and 2020. The second chapter of this paper will discuss the initiatives taken at the Technicum in response to the site conditions and processes of the sculpture’s removal. Finally, the third chapter of this paper will further elaborate the context of the Technicum and sculpture’s appropriation, while discussing the processes employed in activating the auditorium terrace as a public space. The third chapter will give definition of the architectural position of the ‘vernacular appropriations of Modernist architecture’ which result in idiosyncratic and dynamic public space. / AR2A011 / Architecture, Urbanism and Building Sciences

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