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Sarpi Border Checkpoint

J. Mayer H. Architects

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Ministry of Finance of Georgia


  • Beka Pkhakadze
  • Ucha Tsotseria
  • Transmsheni
  • Structural Engineer: LTD BWC
  • Structural Engineer: Nodar Edisherashvili
  • Mechanical Engineer: LTD Ecocomfort

Project Status


Year Completed



4,443 sq. meters

Construction Cost





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Project Description

From ARCHITECT, November 2013
J. Mayer H. Architects in Georgia, by Ian Volner:

As a barometer of Mayer’s architectural intentions, one could hardly do better than the Sarpi border station near Turkey, along a rocky stretch of the Black Sea coast. In profile, the building looks distinctly figurative—the observation tower a head, the checkpoint gates a tail—or perhaps like the prow of a ship, Sarpi being near the spot where the Argonauts went looking for the Golden Fleece. But that wasn't the architect’s objective. “If it allows you to have these ideas, all the better,” he says. “I’m not trying to give you one way to look at these things.” Rather, Mayer says the building simply emerged from his highly analytical approach to program and site. “The design idea was it creates overlaps and pockets, terraces and undulating curves,” he says—each curve and pocket accommodating the various meeting rooms, outdoor terraces, and lower-level public spaces outlined in the brief. Mayer’s form-making was aided by a building culture in Georgia that was surprisingly accommodating: “We were surprised at how easy it was to build,” he says. “They don’t have the regulations we have here in Germany.”

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