Saturday, August 27, 2016


The World's Coolest McDonald's Is In Batumi, Georgia

You might not be lovin’ it, but there’s no way you’re not going to have an opinion about it.

On the heels of the largest KFC in the world in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, comes a spectacular new McDonald’s restaurant in Georgia’s Black Sea port city of Batumi, designed by Harvard-educated architect Giorgi Khmaladze.

But you’d be hard-pressed to identify this cantilevered-glass spaceship of a building as a restaurant, much less a mundane McDonald’s.

Architect Giorgi KhmaladzeArchitect Giorgi Khmaladze
Architect Giorgi Khmaladze
Architect Giorgi Khmaladze
The exterior is covered by 460 glass panels, while the entire building is surrounded by a reflecting pool whose flowing lines mimic the jazzy shapes from 1950s wallpaper. The interior features dining areas that look out onto the reflecting pool and an open-air patio featuring a surprisingly large expanse of vegetation.

As if all that isn’t impressive enough, the underside of the giant looming cantilever protects a busy gas station, whose operations are totally invisible to restaurant customers. According to Khmaladze:

Part of the dining space offers views towards outside water features, while the rest of it seamlessly transitions into open air patio on the upper level. The patio, enclosed from all sides to protect the space from outside noise, provides calm open air seating. The vegetation layer, which covers the cantilevered giant canopy of the fuel station, adds natural environment and acts as a "ecological shield" for the terrace.

Khmaladze, who’s won a string of international awards for his designs, tells RFE/RL that the most challenging aspect of the 1,200-square-meter project was preserving the "wow" factor while accommodating the strict requirements of the McDonald’s Corporation:

...meaning that all its operations are dependent on the correct planning of all required spaces, which McDonald's has optimized in its standard projects. But in our case, we had to incorporate their standards in such a way that it would not impact out design in a negative way. And secondly, we set ourself a goal to disconnect -- at least visually -- the dining from the gas station, but to do it in an architecturally interesting way.

It’s an undeniably spectacular structure. The website even compares it to the lair of a Superman villain and notes:

...if you really can't get any further in your day without a McFlurry, this is definitely the spot to order it. We're also secretly hoping that their Happy Meals come packed in sealed black boxes.

-- Grant Podelco
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Mamuka
April 23, 2013 16:33
At the right edge of the fifth image, you can see my favorite example of Batumi excess, a building meant to resemble an inverted wine bottle. I think it is the Ministry of Justice (naturally).
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
April 24, 2013 09:04
Aaah, Mamuka it is quite natural -its inverted like the Georgian sense of Justice and everything else Georgian.And now the st.Georgians must be very happy to be able to pig out on american fast junk food!!! Patlamish,as our turkic brothers say in such cases!!!
In Response

by: Rasto from: Maisons Laffitte
April 26, 2013 19:37
Camel count all MCDonald eateries in your country and in Georgia and than talk about which country eats more of american fast junk. I have to say I see most of your comments spectacularly offensive hyperbolic and stupid, particularly in a way as you are offending whole nations. You maybe try to be funny, but your way of "fun" (same as perhaps your brain) is so one-dimensional and blowing in one direction that it becomes nothing else but stupid.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 24, 2013 09:18
It's interesting that - of all the "articles" published on this web-site - it is the one on Macdonald's in Batumi that has a "Comment" section, and not for example the one on how Japan will use force (:-)))) against China or on the Daghestan trip of the Chechen guys who killed several people in Boston - after having been granted US citizenship by the US govt just a year ago.
By the way, guys, when is the next Eurovision contest coming endlich? I am already missing your insightful articles on the transcendental importance of this event for the future of the humankind.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
April 24, 2013 12:51
Shame on RFE/RL for not giving poor Eugenio and Jerky jack the chance to share with us their unfathomable insightful lubyanka wisdom!!! I say there should be a special pseud`s corner devoted to these great soviet posters and shame to the japanese too-its only the north koreans who have the right to bomb anyone they dont like!!! And we all think Eugenio and jacko should join their talents in their kgb rap to win the next european song contest to be held under the big bridge on the beautiful blue Danube which should be painted red for the occasion!!! Yankees,go home!!!
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
April 24, 2013 17:47
:-)))))))))) Very funny, Camel, you are in a good shape today :-))). What were your taking, by the way :-))?

by: Anonymous
April 24, 2013 13:40
VIDEO:Anti-gay Dismay: Russian police brutally disperses peaceful pro-LGTB demonstration in Moskau -

by: Big Mac
April 24, 2013 17:48
Ain't it heart-warming to see the U.S. taxpayers' money at work, promoting the healthiest of America's symbols, the McDonald's thing? Right on the mark, and in total harmony with the mission statement of RFE. Forget human rights, forget Moscow's endless encroaching on the liberty and sovereignty of its former subjects, these great journalists promote true American values such as junk food. How long before promoting a new WalMart with a free-for-all firearms department in Tbilisi? Maybe in a building designed by some Harvard architect, too, and adorned with Misha's famous tie. People want liberty, after all. Great job, guys. Hope this is in line with the efforts to restore the tattered image of this once-great champion of the oppressed. RFE/RL, that is, not McDonald's.

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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