Ibrahim Dzhafarov, Bottle House
The site is located at 15 Gambara Guseynli Street (Intersection with Guseyn Dzhavida Street), Ganja, Azerbaijan
About the Artist/Site
For more than twenty years architect Dzhafarov pondered the idea of building a special house to memorialize those who died or went missing during World War II, including his younger brother, Yusif, who never returned. While the building itself is striking – occupying a corner lot, it is a two-story structure with flared eaves, a lower-level overhang and two smaller open-air porches on the second story –the exterior decoration is spectacular. Some 48,000 bottles were used in the house’s construction; pebbles, pieces of mirror and glass, and other small objects rounded out Dzhafarov’s palette and provide both visual interest and color.
The house itself, with a brick infrastructure, was constructed in a single year – 1967, although the decoration itself took much longer. On two of the façades the name of the city – канча – is spelled out in bottle bottoms; another section celebrates the 1980 Olympic games that took place in Moscow. Words including слава (glory, fame), вечная (eternal), родину (homeland), and известно (fame) also underscore Dzhafarov’s pride in his country and his own work. But also included is the phrase неизвестного солдат (unknown soldier), an homage to those who died in the wars and whose remains were never returned. Underneath the eaves are narrative painted images featuring the artist’s family – including his missing brother Yusif – and the history of his country.
The home is private property, but all of the exterior decorations are easily viewable from the street.
~Jo Farb Hernández
Map & Site Information
Latitude/Longitude: 40.687858 / 46.372331
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