Gigo / Grigol/ Zakaria Kurdiani
Engineer – architect
Honorable worker of technical sciences
Gigo was born on 06.03.1873 in Sagarejo. After finishing school in Tbilisi he entered the Kharkov Technological Institute and was awarded diploma of an Engineer-Architect in 1898.
He started his working career in the capacity of an engineer at Copper mines in Alaverdi, Georgia; in 1899 he moved to Baku and started to work with the Nobel Brothers.
In 1900 he was appointed the Head of Tbilisi Water Supply systems.
In 1902 he was appointed Chief Engineer-Architect of the Tbilisi City Council.
Between 1906-1916 he was leading a Reconstruction project for the water supply systems in Tbilisi.
Between 1912-1914 he was Leader of an engineering team developing the Water Supply and sewerage system in Kutaisi.
Between 1916-1917 he was in charge of recognizance works searching for spring waters in Bulachauri and Natakhtari and building a water head facility for Tbilisi.
Under Gigo’s leadership and management, more than 150 water supply systems had been designed in as many as 200 villages, in particular in the Kakheti and Kartli regions, including Gurjaani, Sagarejo, Tsnori, Ninotsminda, Shilda, Velistsikhe, etc.
It was under Gigo’s personal leadership and direct involvement that water supply was provided pro bono to various villages.
Once, while en route through Gombori forest Gigo was apprehended and taken hostage by highway robbers known as Little Nick. At that time Gigo was Chief Engineer-architect at the Tbilisi City Hall and was wearing the hat with an official insignia. They were about to execute him when accidentally one of the highway robbers recognized him and reported to Little Nick about it.
Little Nick invited Gigo to the feast, apologized for the misunderstanding and inconvenience and handed over to him the credentials that he could show to any burglars as an assurance for full respect and urging them to show full support to Gigo.
In 1918 Gigo founded the Georgian Technical Society of Engineers and was appointed its Chairman.
In 1922 he was appointed chief Engineer for the Project launching the restoration of the Chatakhi Ferrous Metal factory.
In 1924, in the capacity of City Council’s Chief Engineer he analyzed alternatives for urban development and settlement of Tbilisi and developed new regulations and standards thereof. He expanded the Elbakidze descend, built transport communication lines, connected different districts of Tbilisi with the railway station.
In 1925 Gigo traveled to Germany to pursue his studies and deepen his knowledge in the field of urban development.
In 1926 he started the construction of embankment between the Elbakidze descend and the K. Marx bridge. His project design envisioned the meandering of the Mtkvari River’s right estuary and building riverbank that served the foundation for the future embankment.
The scope of embankment construction had been expanded during the 30s under the leadership of Gigo Kurdiani. Gigo also expanded and desiged the Leselidze street.
Gigo Kurdiani’s contribution in architecture was highly acknowledged by Vakhtang Beridze in his book “Tbilisi Architecture” (page 152).
Gigo Kurdiani initiated changes into the Kakheti Railroad project, thus ensuring the connection of the railway with Sagarejo. Under his leadership, the road was built to connect railway station with the village center.
He also designed a project for a Hospital in Sagarejo and various other projects of residential houses both in Sagarejo and Tbilisi.
Gigo’s contribution was tremendous in laying the foundation for the Tbilisi State University. Upon completion of the construction he received a letter of acknowledgement and appreciation of his pro-bono services and contribution. The letter is signed by Peter Melikishvili, Ivane Javakhishvili and Ioseb Khipshidze.
In addition to practical engineering and architectural works Gigo’s contribution was immensurable in terms of training young professional staff.
Gigo and his wife Paressa brought up three boys, all three renown in Georgia as well as beyond the country.
The elder son Ilia was honorable Energy-Engineer;
Middle son Archil was famous Architect, Academician, Professor;
Junior Elizbar was a well know Surgeon - Orthopedist, Professor.
Gigo was among the first lecturers teaching at the University, Polytechnic Institute, Tbilisi Academy of Arts and Vocational College of Construction.
He produced and published various books.
Gigo Kurdiani died on 14.06.1957 in Tbilisi.