Ararat And Its Reflections

Ararat And Its Reflections
Ararat And Its Reflections

Video: Ararat And Its Reflections

Video: Ararat And Its Reflections
Video: "Библейская гора Арарат" 2023, March
Anonim

The open international competition in Yerevan was held for the first time, it was organized by the Union of Architects of Armenia and the company "Avangard Motors", and all the necessary organizational and legal support was provided by the ISA. The competition aroused great interest in the world - the organizing committee received a total of more than a thousand applications for participation and about 300 projects (we have already written about one of them, made by the workshop "Sergey Kiselev and Partners").

There are several reasons for this excitement. Firstly, Yerevan is an ancient city and has such a rich architectural heritage that any self-respecting designer will consider it an honor to build something new in it. Secondly, the competition site occupies an extremely important place in terms of urban planning - a breathtaking panorama of the Armenian capital and a view of the biblical Mount Ararat opens from the slope of the Kanaker plateau. And, finally, thirdly, a new business center and a hotel are being built on the site of one of the most famous buildings in Yerevan during the Soviet period - the Youth Palace.

Everyone who ever visited Yerevan during the Soviet years or saw photographs of the city of that period remembered this object - the so-called "Krtsats Kukuruz", which looked like a giant cylinder, cut with characteristic oval windows and crowned with a "flying saucer" observation deck. Built in 1972 by architects G. G. Poghosyan, A. A. Tarkhanyan and S. E. Khachikyan, the Palace of Youth has been a symbol of the city and its tallest building, visible from any point, for many years. However, in 2006, after Avangard Motors LLC became the owner of the building, it was unexpectedly recognized as not complying with the seismic resistance requirements and was demolished. The public in Yerevan tried to protect "Krtsats Kukuruz", but the city authorities did not listen to either her opinion, or even to the authors of the building, who were ready to prove the strength and reliability of their creation and carry out a project for its modernization.

One of the leitmotifs of the demolition of the skyscraper was the desire of its owner to build on this site the "eighth wonder of the world", a striking work of modern architecture capable of giving Yerevan a new high-rise dominant, to declare to the whole world about its originality in general and the status of the Avangard Motors company in particular. It was with the aim of finding such an object that an international architectural competition was announced in October 2009. However, although it was held in accordance with the rules of UNESCO-UIA and approved by the International Union of Architects, its results extremely puzzled both the journalists who followed the development of events and the participants of the competition. The fact is that the first prize was never awarded, the second and third went to little-known European bureaus (2nd place - Agence Search (France), 3rd place - Federico Ennas (Italy) and their by no means the most thoughtful architectural and urban planning concepts, but most of the projects, according to the members of the Russian branch of the Union of Architects of Armenia, were not considered by the jury at all.

It is no coincidence that the exhibition that opened in MUAR is dedicated to the memory of David Sargsyan. The former director of the Museum of Architecture was born and raised in Yerevan, loved this city and was very upset about the changes that were taking place with it. In particular, David Ashotovich perceived the news of the demolition of the Youth Palace as a personal tragedy, and when a competition was announced a few years later for a project for the development of this place, he very much hoped for its results and from the very beginning planned to devote an exhibition to it. The organizers of this exposition - the Union of Architects of Russia and the Russian Branch of the Union of Architects of Armenia - emphasize that their project in no way aims to "enter into polemics with the results of the competition, but gives an opportunity to get acquainted with interesting architectural material." And you cannot argue with the fact that the presented material is really diverse, curious and multifaceted: all the walls of the "Green Hall" are densely hung with tablets, each of which presents its own scenario of Yerevan's development.

The competition task prescribed to design a multifunctional complex in such a way that the hotel function was located in a high-rise volume, and the office and retail function - either at the same height or in lower ones. The maximum height mark was designated 101 meters, which is a very serious figure for Yerevan and its centuries-old inclination to develop horizontally. As we already wrote, talking about the project of Sergey Kiselev, if the projected complex has a competitor in height, it is the silhouette of Ararat on the horizon, and it was on the biblical mountain that the participants of the competition had to orient their projects. The antithesis "city - mountain" and became the main source of inspiration for architects.

Many simply likened the new complex to grief. For example, the architectural studio Yort has designed a volume whose main facade resembles modernist buildings of the 1970s with their perfectly flat and extremely laconic "facial expressions", and the rear is designed as a steep ski slope with a train that stretches far along the slope. A certain resemblance to a mountain range can also be seen in the projects of the Bogachkin and Bogachkin workshop, PS architectural studio and a team of architects led by Vitaly Bochkov. The Rozhdestvenka bureau drew the silhouette of the mountain using a giant portal installed on a semicircular base, and ARTE + likened the composition of several high-rise volumes to a huge pergola, which created a sense of the interior of the entire space of the complex. Another portal was invented by a team led by Stepan Mkrtchyan, although this time the "entrance" is covered with a pile of giant cobblestones. And "Studio-TA" made their high-rise complex as if carved out of a glacier.

However, not all participants interpreted the thesis of the competition task about the dominant role of the new object as an instruction to design a work of emphatically modern architecture. For many connoisseurs and admirers of the 2800-year history of Yerevan, it was important to create a complex that would mean a lot for the city not in the sense of visual superiority over it, but in the sense of being organically welded into its urban planning and social structure. That is why a number of works investigated the possibility of overcoming the isolated location of the complex in the city - the architects sought not only to design it from volumes of different heights and functions, but to throw a kind of bridge to Teryan Street, which it closes. This idea is most vividly and fully realized in the project of the architectural studio of Vazgen Zakharov (the author of the concept is Yuri Volchok): on the slope leading to the high-rise volume, a bridge street is being designed, surrounded by blocked buildings, between which traditional Yerevan courtyards are created. The hotel block itself is designed as a tower made up of several cubes shifted relative to each other. And although the authors of the concept point out in the accompanying note that this composition symbolizes “natural and social tectonic shifts that have shaped the biography of Yerevan,” this composition is perceived as a distinct echo of Moscow's “City of Capitals” or even the Turning Torso skyscraper of Santiago Calatrava. The project of the Ostozhenka bureau is also noteworthy: the team of Alexander Skokan designed a multifunctional complex in the form of several low-rise blocks, on top of which a wide plate of the hotel block is installed. The high-rise part is faced with matte and mirrored glass and due to this it dissolves into the surrounding landscape, perceived as a sultry haze, a mirage, fanciful because the head is baked.

The ancient Armenian culture, rich in symbols, inspired many participants in the competition for real cultural research. Thus, the SPeeCH bureau found the image of its complex in the statue of Nika of Samothrace - the hotel block spread symbolic wings over the city in the promise of victory. The architect Oscar Madera decided the complex as a medieval fortress with a high impregnable tower in the middle, and Alexander and Inna Ivinskiy presented the hotel in the form of a giant disc symbolizing the city of the sun.

On the opening day of the exhibition, a round table was held in MUAR, dedicated to the problems of architecture development in the post-Soviet space on the example of the reconstruction of Yerevan. Without evaluating the results of the past competition (by and large, there is nothing to evaluate yet), its participants talked a lot about the powerful potential of this site and, alas, the equally powerful freedom of the investor to build anything on it. Many bitter regrets were expressed to the lost Palace of Youth and, more broadly, to the defenseless state of the buildings of the Soviet period. In fact, today the city is developing as if Soviet architecture had never existed in principle. Of course, one can argue about the artistic merits of both the Stalinist Empire style and the modernism of the 1960s, but when, instead of a dispute, a half-century period of history is simply erased, a vacuum arises. And to create something new in a vacuum is not only very difficult, but also scary - what if they will be demolished while still alive?

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проект архитектурной мастерской Yort
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проект архитектурной мастерской Вазгена Захарова
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