Expo Georgia Convention Center & Master Plan

Expo Georgia, set within the post- industrial Didube-Chugureti district of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is a 15-hectare campus located northeast of the historic city center. The complex is centered in an extensively landscaped sequence of gardens and park spaces, accessed by parkways and pedestrian paths. Soviet-era pavilions are distributed across the site, developed as a regional exposition during the 1960s. The scale, texture, topography and available footprint of the existing site established the parameters of the two-phase master plan for the campus including a 52,000 m² exhibition center, a new 200-key hotel and ballroom, commercial development, a 10-screen Cineplex and below and above-grade parking.

The new convention center occupies the western edge of the campus while the hotel and ballroom complex is set along the north edge of the site. These two linear facilities redefine the campus, offering a foil and frame for the landscaped gardens, courts and existing historic pavilions. The cineplex is placed at the southeast corner of the site, marking the re-envisioned south entry and a broad event lawn. An existing restaurant pavilion will be renovated nearby, joining a café set along the edge of an existing reflecting pool.

Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia


52,000 SM

Project Team
Trey Trahan, Leigh Breslau, Brad McWhirter, Mark Hash, Conner Bryan, Yichen Lee, Jared Moore, Rachel Hall-Taravella

Counts StudioARUP

AIA New Orleans, Merit Award for Unbuilt Architecture, 2015

Cultural , Hospitality , Materiality

Phase I includes the first half of the convention center which was developed as a series of extrusions on a 9-meter module, allowing the new facility to situate itself in relation to the existing historic structures on site.

The facades are envisioned as a sequence of repetitive gabled forms, made up of cast-in-place concrete and glass. The ground floor includes extensive glazing to optimize views and a sense of continuity into the adjacent landscape.

Organized on two floors, the main level includes a grand lobby overlooking the gardens giving entry onto the column-free exhibition halls that can be subdivided into 5 sub-modules. A second level includes 3 meeting pods of 5 modules each along with a VIP suite. Support facilities are placed at the north end of the building on two levels.

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