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Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia

November 2011 marks the completion of Sarpi Border Checkpoint. Designed by J. MAYER H. architects the customs checkpoint is situated at the Georgian border to Turkey, at the shore of the Black Sea.

Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Jesko-Malkolm-Johnsson-Zahn-01-750x1000 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Jesko Malkolm

“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.

Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Jesko-Malkolm-Johnsson-Zahn-02-750x1000 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Jesko Malkolm

“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.

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© Jesko Malkolm

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.”

Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Beka-Pkhakadze-03-759x502 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Beka Pkhakadze


Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Beka-Pkhakadze-05-759x523 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Beka Pkhakadze

J. Mayer H. Architects:

With its cantilevering terraces, the tower is used as a viewing platform, with multiple levels overlooking the water and the steep part of the coastline.

Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Jesko-Malkolm-Johnsson-Zahn-09-749x1000 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Jesko Malkolm


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© Jesko Malkolm

In addition to the regular customs facilities, the structure also houses a cafeteria, staff rooms and a conference room. The building welcomes visitors to Georgia, representing the progressive upsurge of the country.

Sarpi-Border-Checkpoint-in-Georgia-By-J.-Mayer-H.-Architects-©-Jesko-Malkolm-Johnsson-Zahn-12-750x1000 Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects

© Jesko Malkolm

Project Data:

Project name: Sarpi Border Checkpoint
Location: Sarpi, Georgia
Coordinates: 41.520982, 41.548495
Type: Border Checkpoint
Project Year: 2010-2011
Completion Year: 2011

The people:

Client/Owner: Ministry of Finance of Georgia
Architects: J. Mayer H. Architects – Zementhaus Knesebeckstrasse 30, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Project Team: Juergen Mayer H., Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn, Christoph Emenlauer
Building Company: JSC Transmsheni
Structural Engineering: LTD BWC
Structural Engineering of Tower: Nodar Edisherashvili
Text Description: © Courtesy of J. Mayer H. Architects
Images: © Ucha Tsotseria, Jesko Malkolm Johnsson-Zahn, Beka Pkhakadze

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Sarpi Border Checkpoint in Georgia / J. Mayer H. Architects
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