The Building I of the National Library
In 1931, the building of the former Landowners’ Real Estate Bank was delivered to the National Library. Now, this building represents only one of the blocks of the National Parliamentary Library of Georgia, but the entire library is located within five buildings and three of them are recognized as prominent architectural monuments.The former Landowners’ Real Estate Bank or a Georgian Bank, now the first building of the National Parliamentary Library was built (located in the corner of L. Gudiashvili and N. Vachandze streets) in 1913-1916.In 1912, the competition terms of the bank construction project indicated that the building should be designed in "Georgian style”. With this requirement in view, the first price was awarded to the project designed by the architect Anatoli Kalgin and the painter Henry Hrinevski. Both contestants were thoroughly knowledgeable of the Medieval Georgian architecture (Anatoly Kalgin had already done the measuring of the Bolnisi Sioni Church and a number of other monuments located in Tao-Klarjeti, as well as the reconstruction project of the Bana Monastery; as for Henry Hrinevski, he was an expert of ornamentation and adornments characteristic to Georgian monasteries and it was him who illuminated the works of an outstanding Georgian writer and public figure, Ilia Chavchavadze). The façade decoration of the library is copied from the adornments of the facades of the Georgian monastic monuments of the 10th-13th centuries whereas carving of the ornaments of extraordinary shape was accomplished by Vladimer and Lavrenti Agladzes.
A vast gallery or logia built upon a number of columns from the Gudiashvili street side, as well as the side gallery and a tower erected in the corner with ornamented casements and rhombs are determining the characteristic feature of the entire building. Paintings of the interior, vestibule and arches of the former operational hall (today’s reading hall), the plastic forms of the stone balustrade characteristic to modern style and other architectural elements make this building an accomplished pattern of old Georgian architectural motives, which have played an important role in further development of Georgian architecture. The ornamented door of the library is done by Botkoveli.
The woodworks in the first and third blocks of the library were done by Ilia Mamatsashvili.
The Building II of the National Library
The building of the second block of the National Library (located in the corner of the Gudiashvili and Purtseladze streets), represents a reasonable continuation of the first block. This is a former building of a branch of the Volga-Kama Bank, which was built by the architect G. Kosiakov in 1915.
You would read the following lines in mass media facilities of those days: "On June 12, the Tiflis Branch of the Volga-Kama Bank moved to their own building. The branch started its activities in Tiflis, in 1908 and a year later, they opened the affiliated agencies in Yerevan and Ganja. Construction of this new building located in the corner of Baron and Loris-Melikov streets was started in 1914, according to the project drafted by the architect-Academician G.A. Kosiakov. The land was purchased from Countess Melikova and half of this land, approximately 300 square ? was delivered by the bank to the Tiflis Landowners’ Real Estate Bank, which is also engaged in construction of a beautiful building for their own needs. The Volga-Kama building is large and fine-looking; it contains 30 rooms and a nice storage area as well as the flats for their staff and workers. The building is equipped by central heating”. (People’s Messenger, 1916, N598, pg.2).
Architecture of the second block of the library should be regarded as a replica of the neo-classical style. The heavy rustication of the façade of the first floor is creating a contrasting picture with the plain surface of the second and third floors. A broad protruded part is accentuated on the façade, in which a gigantic arch-type portal is cut.