Creative hubs have an important role in developing a city’s creative life. This article will focus on one bright example – Tbilisi’s Fabrika, which is located in an abandoned Soviet plant and is now one of the hottest spots of the Georgian capital.

Text : Lena Gevorgyan

The capital of Georgia has many times been compared to Berlin and London for a number of reasons, from the city’s nightlife to the stylish local boutiques and street fashion. Once again, this comes to prove that Tbilisi has taken off the veil of post-Soviet influence.

Once upon a time there used to be a sewing factory on Egnate Ninoshvily street, situated in the Chugureti block, where famous Georgian artist Nino Pirosmani used to live and create, near the renovated prospect of Agmashenebeli. Nowadays, it is impossible to be in this part of the city and just pass by the factory without paying attention to the vintage building, which is entirely covered with creative samples of graffiti (like the remarkable “I spray for you”) and street art.

The building was revived and renamed Fabrika, meaning “factory” in Russian. It has been transferred into a trendy urban hotspot, becoming a melting pot for different cultures and ideas. Fabrika is a perfect example of a creative hub with a firm cultural influence.

Fabrika is a complex with the biggest hostel in the region. But this hostel can only be compared to European design hotels. This four-story building offers 98 different rooms, including dorms and private rooms.

But if one has already booked a hotel or a guest house in Tbilisi, Fabrika is still a must, which includes a number of cafes, bars, artistic studios, restaurants, boutiques where one can buy stylish and unique clothes and accessories by Georgian designers and shops with books, vintage posters, pieces by local artists, educational institutions and a large co-working space. Besides the above, the first ever graffiti shop was opened in Fabrika. “Weel” has become the best place for hosting the trendiest exhibitions and underground musicians.

Fabrika is a real heaven for Instagram addicts, you can take thousands of beautiful snaps inside and out, using the light coming from huge old-school styled windows. Fabrika has a big open space courtyard, decorated with camp-cots. The old facade of the building has been preserved. Some details once part of a sewing factory continue to decorate the interior of Fabrika, mixed with modern elements and colorful textures.

The first line in the description of this spot on the official website reads that this place is for “rebellious minds to create and to share for both locals and travelers”. This place has become one of the symbols of Tbilisi, because here is where old meets new, architecture embraces design and vintage befriends modernity.

As of May 2017, Fabrika is considered to be “one of the most interesting and trendy locations” in Tbilisi by a number of influential websites. This place has gone viral on Instagram and on Facebook. Fabrika is a typical example of a creative cluster exposing urban culture within its own walls.

In the afternoon, this place is full of working people organizing seminars, business lunches and meetings. The courtyard is open for children to play and enjoy their time. In the evening, Fabrika turns into a stylish place, where one can be sure to find interesting and like-minded people, drink wine, visit the current exhibition, discuss modern art and listen to electro mixes of guest international DJs. Fabrika has managed to fully integrate into the cultural life of the capital, thus becoming an example of a phenomenon in everyday life.

Speaking about an analog of such a creative hub in Armenia, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy director Tom Fleming stated: “For the creative industries to flourish in Armenia, creative hubs will provide a vital development function. They can help convene creative talent, giving it presence and providing opportunities for collaboration and scale. They can help re-purpose old industrial buildings to signal a new economic age. And they can play a role as enabler and catalyst for creative and knowledge-intensive activities to thrive through tailored business and network support. Moreover, they can help to forge a new identity and confidence for the Armenian economy, with creative hubs operating as lighthouses for a landlocked nation: beacons of entrepreneurship, innovation and imagination which generate new energy, as well as new jobs and new relationships”.