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