Tskaltubo Sanatorium

04 Tskaltubo Sanatorium

address: Tskaltubo – Khoni road 
architect: M.V. Buzogli 
construction: 1936
addition of 2nd and 3th wings: 1967-1971 (Vladimer Giorgadze)
capacity: 80
current state: since 1992-1993 living site for Internally Displaced Persons

One of the smallest and oldest spa facilities in Tskaltubo is located right in the axis of the main spa house No. 6. However, this small bath house was built many years before the main bathhouse. The large sanatoriums as we know them today were not built until two decades later. Its typology, however, set the standard for other younger establishments as well. The three-story building on a U plan had a relatively small capacity of several dozen rooms, arranged on both sides of the central corridor. The rooms facing southeast into the park also had spacious loggias that gave the house a regular-growth expression. The building was entered through a projecting bay with an antique façade surrounded by an arched vault and a gable roof. This part of the building also bears the typical features of a historicist aesthetic in the spirit of socialist realism. To the left of the entrance, there is a pavilion for the social facilities. The large social hall served as a dining room, the kitchen was located in the inner courtyard. Above the dining room on the second floor was a hall that also served as a cinema. However, this tract of the house, unlike the accommodation and entrance area, has fewer ornaments, and declares its belonging more to the tradition of Modernism and its constructivist avant-garde, which was just in the 1930s, strongly suppressed by the new tradition of Socialist Realism. Tubular railings, large glazing, floor-to-ceiling windows, sensitively composed volumes – the pure language of modernism in a small place, on the opposite side of the house. The interior, however, was again dominated by historicizing decorativism. The house, like other spa facilities, served as a permanent residence for refugees from Abkhazia until 2022. The inhabitants of this house came mostly from Gagra, the place that was evacuated first. Due to its intimate scale, the Tskaltubo Sanatorium created a relatively pleasant place for its permanent residents to live a community life surrounded by beautiful nature. Later, between 1967-1971, the building was expanded by an additional 225 beds in a large modernist extension designed by architects M.V. Buzogli, Vladimer Giorgadze.