BATUMI, GEORGIA, 2006-2011

The hotel overlooks the sea in central Batumi and replaces an earlier one dating from the Soviet period: a 10/12-storey building in reinforced concrete. With its rigorously squared lines in the pure socialist style, it had narrow balconies along two broad main fronts. Thanks to its trapezoidal plan, the new construction is freed from the orthogonal pattern of its surrounding urban fabric to become an instantly recognisable landmark. The entrances to the hotel and apartments are separate, with the one on the front facing the sea protected by a large cantilever. On the opposite side, a two-storey projection houses a casino and conference rooms. The structure is clad by a glazed skin supported on a double-grid metal frame: one of more than 2 x 6 metres, and a smaller one measuring 2 x 3 metres corresponding to the windows. Illuminated by night, the tower becomes a landmark for the city.