Nanuka Zaalishvili began photographing Soviet Bus Stops in 2015 and she has now travelled to all parts of the country to find examples of a lost world and the strange shapes she remembered from her childhood travels, but as the project grew, much interesting information emerged which gave Bus Stops a new meaning. Her photo project is both a record of what remains but also an account of their architectural interest and their place in society then and now.
The diverse geography and landscape of Georgia had a significant impact on the architectural design of the Soviet bus stops. These “roadside shelters” come in different avant-garde forms and textures in different regions and clearly reflect the landscapes in which they stand.
Information about the stops is sparse so every attempt to find new bus stop becomes a new adventure that often ends in the discovery of yet more and different examples. The forest landscapes on the roads of Georgia become alpine steppes; the brutal concrete structures of soviet modernism are supplemented by colorful mosaics. The photos reveal unexpected shapes which are carefully and organically adapted to the environment and provide a striking aesthetic contrast.
Bus Stops – small roadside architectural pieces – reflect the vision and style of Georgian architects, designers and artists working in the Soviet period and are one of the most important material legacies that Georgian architecture has preserved from that time. Sadly, many of the stops are in a state of disrepair and there is a danger they will simply collapse and disappear. Yet to preserve them requires very little resource. Given the role they play in our architectural heritage with their amazing diverse forms and decorations, it is important to preserve them for future generations and as a source of inspiration to today’s architects.
Nanuka Zaalishvili – (1988) Master of Architecture. Founder of the architectural studio – IDAAF Architects (2015)and online magazine IDAAF (2013). Participant and winner of various international architectural competitions and workshops including ‘Man Town Human’ (London. 2014) and workshops at Zaha Hadid Architects, Arup Associates, Amin Taha Architects, Architectural Review Magazine and etc. Selected Exhibition for Tbilisi Art Fair (2018-2019). Selected exhibition for ‘Kolga’ photo festival, supported by Gallery Art Beat (Tbilisi. 2018). Invited Artist at ‘Farm Cultural Park’ (Favara, Italy. 2019). Exhibition ‘Process’ (Tbilisi. 2019) and etc.