Archil Kurdiani

Popular Architect of the USSR (1970)
State Prise Laureate (1941)
Honorable Worker of Arts (1961)
Academician, Professor

Born on  26th of March in 1903 in Tbilisi, in the family of renown Engineer and Architect, Grigol Kurdiani;
In 1922 finished Tbilisi 1st Gymnasium and entered the Politechnical University of Tbilisi, Department of Architecture (1924 – 1928). In 1929 only two people graduated the Departmet of Architecture: Archil Kurdiani and his future wife Ketevan, the 1st female architect in Georgia.
While studying, Archil also worked at different construction sites:
-    Chatakhi Cast Iron factory – Intern/technician (1923)
-    Construction of the Zarija Vostoka Newspaper’s publishing house – Intern/ technician
       (1926) and foreman (1926-1927);
-    „MOSSTROI“ in Moscow – Engineer/technician (1928);
-    Construction of social housing - Foreman (1930-1933)
-    Transcaucasus and Georgian Construction Beauro - (1932-1933) Architect-designer
-    “Sakkurortmshen” (Georgian Resort Construction) - Architect-designer (1933-1934);

The 30s, known as the period of „Dinamo“ Football Stadium, marked the greatest achievement in the life of Archil and his family, as it had become a tradition of the family over generations.

The Tbilisi Dinamy Stadium was a milestone in Archil’s creative life.  Alongside with technical, design and sporting creativity, the Stadium, with its entire architecture represented a brilliant landmark of the Georgian architecture - a masterpiece of Georgia’s historically established architectural forms, patterns, creative transformation and a quest for novelty. By its architectural value the Tbilisi Dinamo stadium belonged to the top architectural sporting buildings.  

Upon completion of the Dinamo stadium, Archil, in collaboration with architects I.Zhitkovski and Archil’s wife Ketevan,  started designing and later construction of the Georgian Pavilion at the USSR Architectural Fare in Moscow.

 The Pavilion’s architecture and its artistic visualization featured a clash between perceptions of space and volume. This contrust and clash didn’t create a disbalance in the building’s organic entirety, not at all. It was genuinly Georgian, national architecture that was a common and unifying factor between these contrusting values that traversed and traced through the structure, as well as curvings on the walls, reinforced by collomns and voids, carving patterns, chapiters and poles, plasticity and rythm of decor.

The Pavilion was acknowledged as the best building at the Fare and Archil Kurdiani was awarded the title of laureate of Stalin’s Prise and decorated with the Order of Lenin, the highest award in the USSR.

The Pavilion was the prominence of Archil’s talent, the masterpiece of the Georgian architecture. Sadly, the building was destroyed by fire.

Between 1936-1944 Archil Kurdiani was appointed as Chief Architect of the Tbilisi city. At the same time he was Acting Head of the Executive Committee and led the reconstruction-beautifucation projects in the capacity of a Manager for Architectural-Urbanistic Studio.
Archil was elected as Corresponding Member of the USSR’s Academy of Architecture and Academician of the Academy of Architecture in 1947 and 1950 respectively, and in 1957 He was elected as Academician of the USSR’s Academy of Architecture and Construction. 
In the 40s and 50s Archil produced multiple project designs that featured significance and high artistic-architectural value.
   
Alongside with creative-architectural works, Archil pursued his career in the public sector: he was Board member of the Architects’ Union and its Chairman (1960-1962); the Founder of „TbilKalakProject“ and ist 1st CEO (1938-1941); Chief Architect of Tbilisi (1936-1944), Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee; Founder the Monument’s Protection Department; Head of the Architectural Department by the Cabinet of Mnisters (1944-1953); Head of the Architecutral-urbanistic Studio at „TbilKalakProject“ (1954-1964); Head of the Architectural-Design Studio at „SakKalakProject“ (1964-1976
During WWII Archil was Responsible for Georgia’s Disguise/Camouflauge Services (1941-1945);
He started teaching career since his young age at the newly established Politechnical Institute (1930-1933) and at the Transcaucasus Institute of Communications (1930-1934);
Later, to the end of his life he lectured at the Tbilisi State Academy of Arts, Department of Architecture, as Chief Lecturer (1948-1958) and than as a Professor (1958-1987);
He was Rector Ameritius of David Gareji People’s University (1978-1988);
Since 1980, Archil was elected Corresponding Member of the USSR’s Academy of Arts;
Between the 60s-70s Architects Archil and Gia together with Static Engineer Shalva Gazashvili  led the reconstruction works at the Dynamo stadium, Gia Kurdiani acting as Chief Architect at the same time.
Although, the destruction of the 1st project of the Dynamo Stadium’s was a family tragedy for Archil Kurdiani, this marked the beginning of a creative success, culminating by a triumf inauguration of the new „Dynamo“ Stadium.
At all times, applauds and ovations used to be the acknowledgement for performance artists, however on September 26, 1976 the Inauguration of the Dinamo Stadium became a true fastivity and selebration. Thousands of visitors applauded and greeted the Stadium’s authors standing on feet, as a sign of the highest acknowledgement and appreciation of their work. It was the happyest moment for the authors and the family.

After many years, in October 1988, when Archil died, thousands of football fans stood up and honored Archil’s memory by a minute of scilence.
In the 80s Archil Kurdiani, together with his son Gia Kurdiani and grandson Archil Kurdiani /Junior/ prepared a reconstruction project for the TV-Radio Centre and the Museum of Sporting Valour;


Archil Kurdiani died on 19 October 1988. 


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