Cond: The Old District with Obscure Fate
Cond is one of the oldest districts of Yerevan preserved since the 17th century. And the older is the district, the more are the problems, accumulating for decades. Yet there is no comprehensive solution for construction of Cond district on the general plan of Yerevan city. The famous Russian-born Armenian architect Alexander Tamanyan, who prepared the first general plan of Yerevan, did not plan to rebuild Kond at all; he imagined a green zone there, but the hill was left out of the main construction of those years because of its location.
In 1984-85 the government seriously considered the construction problem of the district, which is located in the center and at the same time is cut off from the city downtown. Then a tender of architectural design projects for Cond reconstruction had been announced. The winner of the tender was Arshavir Aghekyan‚Äôs design project, according to which a residential zone along Saryan, Leo and Paronyan streets was planned with backyard terraces and green roofs. In the middle of Cond hill about 5 ha area was allocated for a public center where the renovated houses would have studios, workshops, craftsmanship workshops, display and sales halls. In northern part of Dvin hotel it was planned to have a tourist center. But the project was not realized because of the Spitak earthquake and following events. Arshavir Aghekyan finds the reconstruction of this district very important, mentioning, ‚ÄúThe project aims to create a collective image of folk architecture, based on the medieval spirit of Cond‚Äôs spontaneous construction, scale and space planning. This problem is even more urgent in Yerevan, a city with an impressive historical past, but having no real evidence‚ÄĚ.
Cond has a great potential in the development of tourism by its place and history, providing wide range of interesting ideas. Many famous European cities rebuilt their old historic districts, making them very attractive for tourism development. Cond too must be linked to the city center, making it the active part of capital city's vibrant daily life and taking into account peculiarities of the district and its environment by harmonious reconstruction of the old and the new and the complex solution of residents‚Äô problems.
Cond reconstruction negotiations are underway now, and only after that the design phase will start. What will be decided and how it will be implemented is still unknown. Anyway, the problem is urgent, and thousands of Cond inhabitants are waiting for improvement of their living conditions at least during the governance of current authorities. The next article about Cond, we hope, will tell about the implementation phase of the project.