Exhibits that entertain, amaze and excite with panoramic views from every height
Location: Jvari, Georgia
Client: Enguri Tourism Center LLC
International tender: 2017, 1st place
To be completed: 2021
Size: 157 ha
Enguri Dam is much more than just a technical structure; it is a true evidence of engineering achievement. Its size and power are so significant that everyone who witnesses it will be impressed without fail. The 272 meters in height and 728 meters in length arch-shaped dam surrounded by the impressive Caucasus Mountains is one of the world’s largest concrete arch dams and most ambitious pieces of structural engineering. The construction of Enguri Dam as part of the Enguri hydropower plant to provide electricity for the Soviet Union started in 1961 and was completed in 1987. It was the largest-ever industrial project in Georgia, with the finished plant attracting attention of international experts and global engineering publications over many decades during the Soviet era.Today the plant fulfils nearly half of Georgia’s energy requirements, providing a reliable source of clean energy for Georgia and beyond.
In 2015 the dam was added to the list of the country’s most distinguished cultural heritage sites and was officially granted the status of a National Monument. This was followed by an ambitious plan by the Georgian government to turn the site into the most important tourist attraction in Georgia. The aim of the new tourist infrastructure is to transform the site into a high-class world level attraction that would invite visitors from both Georgia and abroad. In the longer run, the visitor center would become the first industrial monument in Georgia to combine a museum and a science center providing a fertile ground for the increase of the tourist potential of the whole region.
In 2017 KOKO architects won the international tender for the detailed design that will result in a Discovery and Visitor Center introducing how the dam works, its history and construction and the hydro energy at large. The heart of the complex is the new main building, replacing the former administrative building of the dam, housing the main exhibition as well as a café and the administrative offices. The Dicovery and Visitor Center itself extends around the 157 ha surrounding the dam. A cable car, panorama lift outside the dam wall and several viewing platforms introduce the story of the dam and hydro energy in the open air. Once acquainted with the exposition, visitors in search of adventure can test their limits on the zipline, wakeboarding or by bungee jumping. After a long day through all the attractions visitors can relax on the café terrace and enjoy the stunning views to the Enguri river or experience a concert or a show from the floating stage at the bottom of the dam where the surroundings provide a mystical and powerful scenery for events –not to mention the dam itself that serves as an oversized screen for video-mapping or laser shows.