The soviet sewing factory get the life back, but this time the reincarnation will happen in quite a different form. The works are actively held here and the place will be opened for the visitors in the month of July 2016.
The project is important with its function, as its aim is uniting the artists and the people who appreciate art. At the same time the project is precedent of the old building renovation, which has lost the original function in the center of the city.
IDAAF has visited FABRIKA, had a walk around the site and works ongoing. The founders of MUA, Gigiko Sakvarelidze and Devi Kituashvili, answered IDAAF’s several questionns right there:
Where did the idea of the project and its design come from? What was its previous function and what is it going to be after completion of the project?
The goal and the idea was to create the space, which would unite the people who think alike and in the same direction, as the result of collaboration their project would be modified and be sold better. Also, we used to think that this type of development had to be interesting for investors. The conditional space has been chosen by us for the project several times. We intended to find someone who would invest in this idea. Than we have found this building and we’ve decided to design our project here. Together with other benefits it has a very advantageous location.
Hostel has always been the part of the project. It makes it more attractive for the investor, than just a development of art community. The hostelfills cafes, cafes provide the nonstop flow of people and the place becomes locally popular.
At the moment of project completion there will appear many objects with different function. Some of our friends – street artists are going to open the workshop and a small trading place of paints. They will present their lectures here as well. We are thinking to give some space to the music and DJs here for them to be possible to distribute their vinyl records. What’s very interesting we’ll have here the international company, which operates the co-working spaces and is oriented onto the social projects and a good start up and growth.
We were not looking particularly for the factory building. Even the empty land plot was interesting for us in the regard of this project. Our first draft was made this way. We’ve names it a “Shoe Box”. At some point we have found this building and we’ve liked it a lot, it’s quite a good building. FABRIKA became much more interesting in process, it’s an additional credit for the concept.
Here are the pre-manufactured structural elements, beautiful bas-relief on the façade and an interesting courtyard. The project has been built on these. The part of the complex was added in 90s. One of the eldest blocks has a 12m span and the underground shelter, that’s why probably it might be built during the WWI. Though, there is not proof of this in archives. The old building is changed now a lot and almost destroyed. There are much more interesting old factories in Tbilisi, included the one near the railway station nearby here.
We believe this place is the future of the city. At least until the new locations are picked and provided by the general development plan of the city.
What are the materials used in the design?
The only elements which had to be changed were windows and doors, as it was totally worn-out. The rest is kept in fact. The reception area on the first floor remains untouched. Some part of the furniture will also be established from the components found in here.
The walls of interior will be left horizontally half painted, color characteristic for it – the way it was in factory. The style of the light units and the switches will be close to the original.
The flooring including linoleum will be placed back where possible. The only brand new element is electro-mechanical part.
There is left lots of new clothing sewed in 90s here in this factory. We have sorted it and have an idea to open a small store for this items. We are fighting for keeping everything possible.
What was the challenges you faced and were there any tasks that were difficult to deal with?
The renovation is the challenge itself. It becomes more difficult as you never have the correct and precise dimensions. We did not have the difficulties with the visual part of the design, but mostly with the planning of the premises. Though, it did not become a huge problem considering our previous experience.
We’ve changed the planning of the upper levels entirely, as it had to be fitted to the function of hostel. The circulation was fully modified.
What is the importance of such projects for the country and the society? How should we treat other similar monuments?
The positive side of it is that each tenant will be an artist, the new space for exchanging of ideas will be created. The center of this will be the courtyard for which we are planning to prepare the general calendar.
We think, that this part of the city must be conserved, we mean the center of the city. In case there appears the building, which has lost its function, it must be immediately renovated as a public space. Such action brings a huge revenue and does not kill the city. The young people get the building for further development of their skills.
In case the projects succeeds and think, that it does for sure, the owners of frozen and nonfunctional buildings will be encouraged to give them a new life. The city will benefit. Such buildings will not be demolished anymore and replaced with the block apartments, which ruins the city. At the same time the price of such buildings will be increased.