Interview: Jürgen Mayer H.
German architect Jürgen Mayer H. has been working in Georgia for years and has built over a dozen buildings for the government. The border station at Sarpi and the airport in Mestia are architectural icons known throughout the country. We spoke with Jürgen Mayer H. about his work and the country in the Caucasus.
Question: Mr Mayer H., you designed the border station at Sarpi. Is this building particularly special to you?
Answer: Yes, because it’s a place that symbolises not separation, but the coming together of two neighbours. The border control station is located directly on the Black Sea coast. A tower with terraces provides lookout points over the sea and the steep coastline – you can even swim in the sea up to the border. Beyond the normal checkpoints, the building also contains conference rooms, meeting rooms, viewing platforms, restaurants and duty-free shops. It’s a place of communication. A place where the country extends its welcome to visitors and bids farewell to those who are leaving. So it’s definitely an extraordinary place. The building is at the entrance to Georgia and is a sign of the current revival of the country’s fortunes.
How did you garner the attention of President Saakashvili? And what attracted you to working in Georgia?
It was our Metropol Parasol project in Seville, Spain, that president Saakashvili had seen in a publication. The mayor of Tbilisi at the time was familiar with the Moltke Dining Hall in Karlsruhe, Germany, which was also designed by us. And these two things combined were what prompted them to invite us to Tbilisi. That was the beginning of many exciting projects.