Ketevan Sokolova- Qurdiani is considered to be the first female Georgian architect, who actively worked in the male-dominated field of architecture during the 20th century. Her work is scattered across Georgia, from the streets of Tbilisi to villages in Chakvi.
Ketevan’s story begins on the 15th of January, 1905, when she was born into a family of a lawyer Nikoloz Sokolovi and a painter Mariam Porakishvili. In 1922, the faculty of Architecture was established in at the Georgian Polytechnic Institute and she immediately decided to enrol. While excelling academically, Ketevan simultaneously started working on various significant projects. Her first job was to design a villa for a Persian aristocrat on order of German construction company “Altebauag”. She was one of the only two students to graduate from the Architectural faculty in 1928, the second student being Archil Kurdiani who later became Ketavan’s husband.
After finishing her studies, Ketevan remained very active in her field as she worked on multiple projects while also being a prominent member of ‘Architects Union’, since the day of its founding.
Her style relied heavily on traditional Georgian ornaments and decorated art with a slight touch of the soviet-style architecture of the era. The nature and purpose of her projects were highly diverse and somewhat modern, she planned buildings such as living blocks, administrative buildings, hotels, factories, private housing, etc.
The long list of Mrs Sokolava-Qurdiani’s works include:
Living block, Illia Chavchavadze Avenue 11
Living block, Ilia Chavchavadze Avenue 11
‘House of Academia’, Corner of Viktor Dolidze st and Pekini Avenue
Hotel ‘Intourist’, Gori
Ketevan-Kurdiani passed away on August 26th, 1988, at the age of 83. She left behind a very important legacy, showing the girls across Georgia the power of commitment and hard work. Along with this, she made very significant contributions to Georgian architecture as a whole.
Author: Masho Lomashvili