Old Yerevan Project – The Architect View

Old Yerevan Project – The Architect View

A well-known fact is that over time urban and architectural tendencies change, therefore, cities can lose their architectural and cultural heritage. From this point of view Yerevan is certainly not an exception. The proof of this is the construction works where a number of architectural monuments were dismantled or demolished. And yet the historical appearance should be preserved in all the cities, not only in the capital. All these changes should be realized in harmony with the existing environment. Old Yerevan project is a kind of way out of the situation. It is designed to recreate the lost heritage and to reveal to us the beautiful architecture and urban environment of Yerevan of 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.

The project will be realized on the area between the streets Abovyan-Buzand-Kohbatsi-Arami. 14 monument buildings will be joined to other 16 buildings dismantled in recent years. By the decision of the government, the buildings must have 3 ground floors plus attics. Since all the buildings in Yerevan were either single or two-story, the project architect Levon Vardanyan tried to give such concept, where added floors will not interfere with the visual perception of architectural monuments. According to the architect, the project will have 150 thousand square meters of usable area. He intends to recreate the atmosphere of old Yerevan with its courtyards, wooden balconies, cellars. 3 underground floors will stretch along the development. On the first ground floor there will be cellars and vault of buildings, under it will be located 2 parking floors for 1400 places. This will help to solve parking problem in the adjacent streets and significantly offload this part of city.

Of course, the project caused some disagreements that recreated buildings cannot be called a monument. If you consider that the law on the protection of monuments says. “Historical and cultural monuments are state-registered, historical, scientific, artistic or cultural structures, their structures and complexes, occupied by them or historically connected with them ...... irrespective of the degree of their preservation” then with the above mentioned opinion it is difficult to disagree. The transference of the monument deprives its value, especially when new stones are used for the building recreation. From architectural and urban planning point of view this step can’t be considered an excuse.

According to the architect, 17-meter plastic roof provided by the author can be considered as a solution for scale problem and separates the inner space from foreign environment, thus, deprives panoramas of adjacent high-rise building.

Taking into account all the positive aspects of this project, on the other hand, we must note that Yerevan's urban development and architecture should not develop in this direction, since existing monument buildings on different parts of the city revive the city turning it into a quest.

By Hasmik Terzyan