The first thing you learn about traveling abroad: not all McDonald's are the same. From bizarre menu items (see this fantastic post charting the fast food giant's regional eccentricities like Norway's McLaks, Thailand's green McPapaya salad, and the Philippines' McSpaghetti) to bespoke themed outlets (see Australia's Art Deco version of Mickey D's iconic typology), McDonalds' restaurants aren't cast from the same mold. Case in point: the franchise's new Batumi, Georgia location, a glass faceted pavilion that brings the Golden Arches into the 21st century.
The large structure looks like a leftover from a now-concluded international building expo, rather than a high-tech McDonald's outpost. The spectacular form is actually the result of program and site: KHMALADZE Architects, the team behind the project, was tasked with designing a fueling station and eatery hybrid in a prominent city square surrounded by vehicular traffic. Given the high visibility of the property, the architects wanted to create an iconic urban node while still serving the more local need of combining the programmatic needs of a gas station and fast-food restaurant.
The resultant carapace form is anchored on one side by an over-the-top McDonald's, which features a sloping garden on the interior, while cantilevering over a line of gas pumps at the opposite end. This formal solution—moving from dome to canopy—ensures no overlap between the eating and fueling spheres, while adjacent pools and landscaping help delineate the edges of the site. The McDonald's was opened in October 2012 and has since become a city landmark.
[via Reddit, photos]