Simple shapes and pastel colors – the architectural vision of Ana Natsvlishvili
Who knows how many times we’ve walked down the street, liked a building, and then stopped thinking about it… Actually, behind these buildings are people who spent a lot of time and energy on their creation. Here, for example – you may have noticed the building located at Tsabadze 11, which has a completely different style from the surrounding buildings. Behind all this is the architect Ana Natsvlishvili and her own studio – BAU Design.
We decided to interview Anna in detail about her work and studio:
– In many cases, our current professions are closely related to childhood tendencies – what kind of childhood did you have?
Since childhood, I have been in contact with and inclined to various fields of art: close communication with nature, clay sculpture, painting, weaving, embroidery, etc. I finished school without thinking about what field I would be in in the future. I chose architecture as a profession, however, I was not sure about this decision, that is, whether this activity would be the companion of my life. Studying architecture gives you the opportunity to be in touch with different fields of art, people, environment, space… Slowly I fell in love with this profession and today I am not going to change anything. Every step in this field gives me great pleasure.
– Let’s move on to the issue of education – where did you get your education and what was the process like?
I received my higher education at the Tbilisi State Art Academy – I graduated from the Faculty of Architecture. The 6-year teaching process was quite interesting and diverse. I took part in almost all student competitions, there were also exchange programs, which made the process even more diverse.
– How did you and your profession develop over time? Tell us about the achievements you have made in this field.
When I started working, I was in the last year of my master’s degree. I remember the first visit to the facility and I will probably never forget the feeling of overresponsibility, fear and, at the same time, stimulation. I participated in many city-planning and architectural competitions with my friends. One of the competitive projects was the Borjomi District Village Cathedral Public School – the first large-scale project that was soon implemented. I can still hear the emotion and joy of winning this competition, and my friends often remember it.
Any obstacle in my career was a great incentive for me to overcome and find a way out of this or that problem, which became a very good life example.
– What can you tell us about the important projects that you have worked on during your career?
From the completed projects, I would select several objects that are already functioning. In particular, St. An office building located at #11 Tsabadze St. in Tbilisi, which stands adjacent to the cultural heritage monument. There were quite a few details to consider during the design process.
Also, st. “Krtsanisi Residence” multi-apartment residential complex project in Krtsanis, Tbilisi. This is a very quiet, cozy complex with low development, where we dedicated a large part of the territory to greenery; I would also select St. Improvement project of “Green City on Lisi” park near Lisi lake in Tbilisi. Despite the difficult terrain and ground, we were able to get a green and peaceful environment accessible to everyone.
– Anyway, what is the process of working on the project like for you?
In order to get quality and desired results, all stages of designing are important. I would divide the whole process from taking the order to execution into four stages, namely, sketch, negotiable documentation, working documentation processing and copyright supervision. From the very first stage of designing, we consult with the engineering group, constructor and experts. If necessary, art experts are also involved in the process.
The process of working on a project begins with receiving a task from the customer, however, in many cases, the perfect task is refined with us. Then, of course, it continues with a visit to the project area, researching the area, searching for materials, and ideas come along with these processes, making a sketch on the spot, reasoning, creating a sketchy three-dimensional model with sketch drawings, and again communicating with the customer, agreeing on the sketch, justifying, reasoning. The longest and most interesting process is sketch processing.
– Tell us about Bau Design – when was it created, what was the purpose/reason for its creation and what does this platform represent today?
In 2011, four friends, me, Misha Baliashvili, Oto Khoferia and Tako Valishvili founded the company “Architectural Bureau”. For several years, we have worked on a number of interesting architectural, town-planning and restoration projects.
After rebranding the company in 2019, we changed the name of “Architectural Bureau” to “BAU design” and Misha Baliashvili and I continued our work. BAUdesign is an abbreviation of “Bureau of Architecture and Urban Design”, we work in the direction of architecture and urban planning.
– what do you think, What is the style of your projects?
Minimalism, simple forms.. In materials I prefer wood, concrete and glass, however, it depends on the function and location of the object. Colors – pastel.
– In your opinion, what does the architecture of Tbilisi need today?
It is very difficult to give you a specific answer to this question. The architecture of Tbilisi needs more professionalism, both from the architect and from the coordinating body of the city. Architects need more trust from the client. Today, the customer often believes that he knows exactly what he wants and looks for an architect who will implement his wishes and obtain a building permit. However, the role of the architect should be much greater.
– Tell us about your current activities and projects.
As of today, we have several urban planners and architects in the company. Depending on the content of the projects, we cooperate with subcontractors. I will highlight several current projects, such as St. Development plan of Batumi boulevard, concept of general plan of Tskaltubo city, multi-functional complex project “Moedani” in Tbilisi (Avlabari), which is already under construction, and multi-functional complex project in Gudauri. Also, we have ongoing small town-planning and architectural projects throughout Georgia.
Authors of photos: Misha Baliashvili, Ana Natsvlishvili