Yerevan, My Love Concentrates on the Maintenance of Architectural Values
In Soviet years a program called Dzoragyugh was launched, which was dedicated to creation of ethnographic district. Within the frame of that program Sergei Parajanov's House Museum was rebuilt, and several more buildings on the left side of Hrazdan canyon, upwards the Victory bridge. Yet the project remained unfinished after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The buildings were privatized. One of the partly reconstructed buildings was given to Armenian Apostolic Church. And due to this building undertook Yerevan, My Love Foundation was reopened. In Soviet years the frontal part of the house was built of the bricks taken from demolished monument-house on 12 Molokov street (now Hanrapetutyan street, 3rd lane). The main walls of the building overlooking the canyon were erected on Israelyan street, the fence wall was built of large and porous half honed basalt stones. After the collapse of Soviet Union the construction works were stopped. During theses 30 years the unfinished building has turned into a shelter for homeless people, the residents of adjacent buildings used it as a dump. Arshak Karapetyan, the director of Foundation Yerevan, My Love recalls, that the garbage was removed from the territory with the help of many trucks, “The works that were done during Soviet years had been almost annulled”. The reconstruction of the building is done by Haik Ayvazyan, Chief Architect of ArmProject OJSC and the Head of the Architectural studio. In order to increase the seismic safety of the old building, large and small halls on the first and second floors were arched. To connect with other buildings a glazed balcony was added from the backyard. To increase the seismic stability, the building overlooking the canyon was shifted by 2.5 meters from the edge of the canyon. A wall fence made of half honed basalt stones has been added. The small hanging balconies on the edges were preserved, and a big one was added, which is a continuation of the open roof of the building and creates a beautiful harmony with adjacent buildings. The open roof (300 m²) is a metal frame with wooden coating. It is used for official meetings, outdoor concerts and other events. Entrance leading to the center is gradual. That was a mandatory solution due to terrain relief.
The Urban Development Committee has decided to cooperate with the Fund for the reconstruction of buildings that have architectural value, but are in desperate condition. Yet, there are some issues, as the director of the Fund notes, “Most of the buildings of architectural significance are privatized, therefore, purchasing such a building in the center of the city is worth of an entire charity budget. It is necessary to find old buildings that belong to the state, which after the reconstruction will serve to people, implementing social, educational and charitable projects. No profit-making activity in our reconstructed buildings can be held."
Today a Rehabilitation Center is open there with comfortable auditoriums, where about 200 children with disabilities or socially insecure conditions can benefit from rehabilitation and study free of charge.
Yerevan, My Love Foundation plans to reconstruct the adjacent park near Echmiadzin Cathedral in the coming year and build there a children’s center. Horticulture, cooking, landscape design will be taught at the center. “Now certain construction works are underway on the territory of the Mother See. After finishing them we are going to start the renovation of the park and construction of the building,''- said Arshak Karapetyan.
Another building the Fund is going to reconstruct is on the territory of Kond district, near Saint John the Baptist church: ''The project is ready, the budget is available, but we postpone the construction works upon the request of people living in Kond. The houses of the residents living there were demolished, with the condition of getting a home in a new multi-apartment building in the same area. And yet the people did not get their promised homes. They applied twice to The Board of Trustees of Yerevan, My Love Foundation for postponing the construction works. There is no issue with Foundation itself. Simply they are primarily against the launch of any construction work in that area until their apartments are allocated,''- clarifies Arshak Karapetyan.