Georgia’s New History in 30-Year Biography of ARCI (Part IV)
The stories that ARCI company has passed through reflect the 30-year history of Georgia. These stories are full of admiration, bravery, doubts, fear, risks, devotion, misery, feeling of despair and achievements – ARCI has turned 30.
Arci’s Founder and Architect Gia Abuladze continues telling company’s story:
”As I said, events developed rapidly, a new life was there, and either we had to open the door, or close it forever. We learned how to live a new lifestyle gradually. We discussed whether we had to buy a xerox machine or not for three months. Our team member Alika Arobelidze calculated all, paper prices, how much we need, created formulas and conducted, if we buy a xerox, we would get a profit in 12 years time. That’s why we decided it wouldn’t make any sense, it’s better to copy papers somewhere outside. I explained, it had another options too- compilation, editing. We printed our project on a nice, white paper, everyone would ask, where we printed. That’s where we come from.
It was a huge event to buy a fax machine. Such machines were stricly controlled by KGB during Soviet Union, as it allowed to send a picture, drawing and documents. We arrived on site to buy and ask: ”Do we need a letter from KGB?”. We only needed to get a number, install and we would get registered, as they replied. When we arrived at KGB, first they said, he was on vacation. We went there all week long, then they said to leave them alone. It was incredible.
A word ”development” was quite uncomfortable. I and Tamaz Lobzhanidze went to the US in 1991, we saw a construction of little cottages. That’s where I’ve first seen plastir-cardboard, light walls, simple and efficient construction technologies. Then I went to Belgium to learn more about development companies. We finally, conceived what land developments means, and many more.
Shota Kavlashvili was a main architect of Tbilisi, he sent one constructor, interested in Mziuri’s adjacent territory. He came and says: I want to build 11-storey corporate building here and here. Remember, we know what we do: Кесарю кесарево! – he stopped and added: – И даже больше! – In short, he let us know he paid well. Imagine, how it would impress us, a phrase said in Russian, with Megrelian accent.
Rostika and I had joined tables, watching each other face to face. We started to think what to do. Even more, what we should demand. First, we said to take a warehouse. That’s how architects used to get workshops. Then Irakli said: why do we need to ask him, let’s build ourselves and sell it.
That’s how we started to think about commercial construction.”
There’s still more to say about ARCI’s 30-year history.