Lazika, Georgia (2013)
Architects of Invention, alongside engineers Engenuiti, designed a steel structured building as a part of the development of a new city on the Black Sea coast. The brief was to create a Public Service Hall, a Wedding Hall and Municipal Offices. Work on the project began at the end of January, 2012, and the building was completed in mid-September, 2012. The building was constructed in 168 days with a progressive drafting schedule.
Lazika is a newly founded city on the Black Sea coast, located on previously uninhabited coastal wetlands. Lazika is located one mile to the south of the sea resort Anaklia and 3 miles south of Georgia's border with Abkhazia. The name 'Lazika' refers to the Graeco-Roman name for the region. The city’s existence was announced in December, 2011 by President Saakashvili, and established upon the completion of the Lazika municipality building in September 2012. The city remains in limbo with only one building, the municipality building, having been constructed. Currently, Lazika's future hangs in the balance, as the new government decides its course of action. The architecture of this particular area (Mengrelia West Georgia) reflects environmental considerations. The region has high level of humidity and dump soil, so local peoples traditionally built houses on stilts with no foundation to encourage ventilation from underneath and keep the structure dry.
The site is almost at the existing mean sealevel and hence the client needed to be aware of the risks associated with anticipated global warming and subsequent sea level rises which could be in excess of 1m during the next century (based on climate modeling).The water table is between 1 and 1.5 m below ground level. Our main concerns included the control of settlement due to organic layers and the control of potential liquefaction of the ground during a seismic event. The Caucasus region, in which the site is located, is one of the most seismically active regions in the Alpine-Himalayan collision belt. This seismicity is driven on a global scale by the collision of the African and Arabian tectonic plates with the Eurasian plate. Based on our understanding of the regional geology it is valid to assume one of the worst ground conditions for seismic design Ground Profile E to EC8. The water table is between 1 to 1.5 m below ground level.