Sevyan Center of Culture Will Get A New Breath in Its Old Style

Sevyan Center of Culture Will Get A New Breath in Its Old Style

The building of Leninakan railroaders’ Palace of Culture, which was later renamed to Sevyan Cultural Center, was built in 1926 and started to function in 1929. After the earthquake in 1988 this unique building with its exclusive style, original and interior design, covered with frescoes, functioned for two more years, and then there was a big fire, after which the building gradually became dilapidated and filled with garbage. There were many reconstruction projects for this building which, unfortunately, are still pending.

This year the issue of this unique cultural center was finally resolved. A memorandum was signed between the Ballet 20-21 Foundation and the Municipality of Gyumri, according to which the Sevyan Center will be reconstructed and will function in a more innovative and multi-profile format, a vivid proof of which is the Kharatyan Experimental Art Center, that will function in this building.

The design project has started as a sub-grant within the framework of Armenian General Benevolent Union and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation's CS Bridge Programme, financed by European Union. The former building with its adjacent area (about 1668 m2) was provided to the fund gratuitously for 99 years. The municipality is responsible for exempting the territory from illicit buildings and kiosks before the start of the construction works, which will begin in September 2020 and will last 2 years. Until then, the future design project will be elaborated by Canadian architect of Armenian origin Azat Shishmanyan from architectural studio NEUF, Canada, together with Storaket architectural studio. Azat Shishmanyan plans to keep the facade, walls and arches and Ferdinand Manukyan's "Sasun Dance" mosaic in his design project, while the innovative solutions will be inside the building. According to the preliminary concept, two floors will be restored with about 3200m2 area, and according to architectural solution the third floor will be added in one part of the building. The center will be multifunctional, it will have a two-stages hall for 500 people, three studios, dressing rooms, a conference room, a library, an exhibition room, café and a souvenire store. The adjacent garden will also be improved. The structure of the center will enable the passersby to see what's going on inside and feel the creative mood of the architectural solution. A. Shishmanyan in his design considers the dialogue between the old and the new.

Kharatyan Experimental Arts Center, which will function in this building, will welcome about 120 students. There are already arrangements with Armenian and foreign representatives of dance art, who will teach in the center.

According to Shishmanyan each building must be a source of inspiration, regardless of its targeted function, even if it is a hospital.