On the main road between Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, and the city’s airport, stands the Meama coffee brand’s headquarters. However, if you were to drive past it, you may not think it was a place of work at all.
From the roadside, this incredible 9,300-square-meter building resembles something that could be the magnum opus of an ambitious modern artist. The L-shaped building has no apparent openings. It has concrete walls that look as though they have been folded.
If this makes for an arresting sight against its backdrop of fields and pine trees, from above, it looks even more impressive. That’s because covering the roof is the same wild grass of its surroundings, save for the occasional skylights, terraces, and atriums that punctuate it.
According to its designers, Giorgi Khmaladze Architects, the idea was to reduce its visible footprint to the planes taking off and landing nearby.
The roof’s height also changes to adapt to the slopes of the fields beneath it, adding to the exterior’s visual appeal.
The designers also considered the factory’s needs in this process, so the roof’s height varies according to the machinery being used in different areas. Meanwhile, the exterior walls seem to change appearance frequently throughout the day, depending on where sunlight falls.
The building has two indoor courtyards that benefit from the natural light pouring in. The main lobby’s glazed walls are situated at the back of the building. Meanwhile, all the interior spaces are oriented towards this area, which lends a light, bright, and airy feel to a building that looks all but impenetrable from the outside.
Elsewhere, amphitheater-style steps are a feature of the atrium, with mosses and ferns planted between the steps, welcoming guests and workers alike.
For most people, though, it’s all about that exterior, with its incredible, concertina-style angular concrete walls and beguiling roof design that seamlessly blends in with its surroundings.
Together, these make for more than a mere curiosity for drivers and plane passengers alike. It sure is one of the most interesting factory facades they’re likely to encounter anywhere.
Address: Kakheti Highway, 2 Givi Amilakhvari st, Tbilisi 0109