New art gallery Competition
2016
Yerevan
The National Gallery of Armenia is the country’s major art gallery. It has a great collection of national visual arts, decorative-applied arts as well as world culture from ancient times to our days. The old building of National Gallery, situated on the Republic square doesn’t meet the requirements of a modern museum, which necessitated the construction of a new building, supplied with appropriate equipment and facilities. The gallery construction site is located in the center of Yerevan, between Mashtots Avenue and Antarayin Street, near Matenadaran, the Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts and Cascade complex with the Cafesjian Art Center. It’s a walled territory with a complex of buildings, presently used as a reception house for foreign officials. The buildings of the complex were designed and built by different architects at different times. The plot has a steep incline and is divided into platforms, according to their height. Our project suggests the following: • The enclosing wall is removed thus opening the park onto the Mashtots Avenue. • The new gallery building is located between Antarayin (back) Street and the reception house, along the entire length of the slope. • The entrance to the gallery is arranged directly from Mashtots Avenue with the immense concrete portal that provides the entrance with solemnity. The same height with the nearby residential buildings, the portal doesn’t infringe the construction concept of this section of the avenue. • The foundations of the existing structures must be reinforced. • Demolition of retaining walls and removal of the platform soil volume will provide auxiliary surfaces for technical and service premises. The landscaped green platforms designed instead can be used for recreation space, venue for exhibitions and various events. The highest of the platforms, extending from the gallery to Mashtots Avenue will serve both as a walking area and as a cover to protect and to emphasize the central entrance to the building located in the middle of the site. Reinforced and repaired, the existing structures can either serve as part of the gallery, or be maintained in the current function. The buildings on the left of the entrance are supposed to be used as an administrative premises of the gallery. The nearby location of museums and galleries in this busy part of the city will attract tourists. The gallery is a multi-storey building, with 6 floors of 5.20 m height. The interior space is designed as an atrium with convenient sloping ramps joining the floors. The building is equipped with lifts, cargo elevators, evacuation staircases, toilets on each floor. There is a service entrance from Antarayin Street. The elevation overlooking Antarayin Street is of 8m height that corresponds to the cornices of the surrounding buildings. The elevation overlooking Mashtots Avenue located deep in the complex is completely glazed with oblong U-glass slabs. The façade is deprived of active architectural elements, but stands out with its peculiar surface texture as a background for the existing structures. It is translucent but not transparent, radiating gentle light in the dark, thus creating a unique light image.