Threshold Landscape

Tbilisi, Georgia
Tbilisi Architecture Biennial 2022
Winner project
Photographer Anka Gujabidze


The project asks how an unstable edge of the city can be enhanced before it will disappear. The city of Tbilisi coexists within a peculiar landscape. The combination of urban growth, natural topography and infrastructure composes a fabric dotted with spread bodies of water.

Map of Tbilisi by NOIA

Despite their marginal location through the edges of the city, the lakes remain easily accessible and densely frequented leisure areas. However, there are some neglected smaller seasonal lakes, which disappear in summer and only reappear in mid-winter.

Satellite view of Mshrali Lake. Dry Season

These invisible and unstable presences silently overlap with the continuous expansion of the city around them. One of them is Mshrali Lake, literally the dry lake, a few hundred meters from the well-known recreational area, Lisi Lake.

Satellite view of Mshrali Lake. Wet season

The project wants to reflect on what durability means for the Landscape and how its cyclic characteristics intersect with the rhythm and tendencies of everyday life. It asks how temporality is defined in nature and how it can be affected by fragile urban conditions.

Threshold Landscape. plan. by NOIA

The project represents the transient state of the lake to strengthen the identity of the fragile edge of the city and appears as a threshold between two contracting identities, such as the urban tissue and untamed landscape.

The proposal consists of 121 wooden vertical elements, laths of square sections, that emerge from the ground, in an attempt to measure and document the maximum height of the lake. In fact, during the wet season (around March) the entire installation will be immersed in the lake water.

Installation during the dry and wet seasons. by NOIA

This system of charred wooden vertical elements speaks for the water surface of the lake during the dry season, trying to keep the upper silver painted end at a constant level, and the lower end tucked into the ground. By using geometric shapes installation generates contrasts between the human measuring system of time and space with the spontaneity and temporality of the landscape.

In the end, the project reflects the dual condition of the lake through an installation that appears when the lake disappears and vice-versa.

Project partners: All-P-Group, Ecowood, Italian Embassy of Georgia, Lisi Development