Plateaus, canyons, gorges and ridges.
Arsenal, Mtatsminda, Sighnaghi, Nunisi, and Mutso.
It’s late spring and a great time to get out of Tbilisi and head for the countryside. The fields are blooming with swathes of colorful wildflowers.
In this month’s letter, we are sharing updates on our works-in-progress and travels:
-Ruderal was shortlisted in the Public Landscapes category of Landzine International Landscape Award.
—At Arsenal Oasis there are a few traces of the fire that burned the wetland last summer. The tadpoles are growing legs, and the willow stakes are just leafing out.
We’ve released a video, produced by Pearly Jacob, detailing the construction of the Arsenal Oasis, and our studio process.
—This summer we welcome Erik Schiller, an MLA + MArch student from the Illinois Institute of Technology to our studio. Erik is developing a curriculum and leading students as part of our in-house training program in landscape architecture. He’ll be posting updates on this summer’s cohort here.
We just received word that Erik is this year’s Martin Roche Scholarship recipient. The scholarship, granted by the Chicago AIA, “gives a student the opportunity to independently study architecture abroad.” Erik’s project will integrate research on Tbilisi’s urban waterways with a new curriculum to introduce architecture students to landscape architecture.
—We also congratulate Elia Katamadze, architect at Ruderal, who completed his M-ARCH studies this month at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University. Three days after graduating, we learned Elia and Giorgi Vardiashvili’s project was selected as the winner of a competition for the design of an overlook in Dedoplistsqaro, Kakheti.
—Rough grading of The Sky Beach and other features continues at the Sighnaghi Panorama hotel, near the Bodbe Monastery in Sighnaghi, Kakheti. Ben describes the design process here.
—Ben took a trip to the remote Khevsureti region of Georgia this month. He took some incredible drone footage of the constant work in progress to maintain the Datvis Jvari pass:
Excavators stand by to remove the slides, and they work almost every day to clear the most unstable sections of the road. Between Shatili and Anatori only a sliver of the road remains but the excavator creates a temporary shoulder.
—Sarah visited Nunisi, a historic mineral springs resort near the Borjomi-Khargauli National Park that features a fabulous vintage cableway.
—Our colleague Mariam Megvine published De: Nostalgia, a collection of essays by professional women working in Georgia.
De:Nostalgia is an attempt to fill this lack of dialogue [about the present day] and present an independent publication which offers a diverse and honest discussion. The first issue of this publication is my attempt to pay back to a sector of society which is often silenced, despite its huge efforts to move the country forward: professional women. Their voice is left unheard in their own professional environments, just as they are absent in the discussions regarding the country's development.
Sarah’s essay in the publication, “A Ruderal Practice” details how landscape architecture practice is a means to imagine alternative futures.
De: Nostalgia is available at Postdakona Books in Tbilisi.
—Finally, we are happy to share that Jacob Lindgren and Paul Zdon of Platform, a Chicago-based graphic design studio, designed our new identity. Our new website will launch by mid-summer.
დროებით! (see you shortly).