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Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

Armenia Architecture News - Dec 09, 2020 - 11:14   6940 views

Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

The Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation has announced the winners of the Open International Competition for Recreational Infrastructure Elements Design in Gyumri Friendship Park. Based on the results of the second round, the jury selected the best from 19 finalists in three nominations.

The winner in two nominations at once, namely Standard Architectural Elements and Landmark Architectural Element, became Moscow bureau IND Architects

While designing a Marketplace Pavilion, the architects were inspired by the zigzag elements of traditional Armenian architecture. These cell modules can change their configuration — linear for retail or exhibitions, wavy for food courts and circular for thematic combinations for masters of one craft. The variety of arrangements  is achieved by transforming wooden structures with a stretching awning, which in its pattern resembles a woven Armenian carpet. The Marketplace is designed for year-round use.

Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

IND Architects' proposal "Gardening School". Image courtesy of IND Architects

The concept of Gardening School Pavilion is inspired by the craft history of the city and emphasizes the uniqueness of the national arts. The internal frame made of metal profiles is based on an orthogonal grid and allows the Pavilion to be modular. 

Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

IND Architects' proposal "Gardening School". Image courtesy of IND Architects

Sliding partitions transform the interior space for the required format of events, including fairs, vernissage, lectures, workshops and free use. The green area is returned to the Pavilion due to the exploited roof.

Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

IND Architects' proposal "Gardening School". Image courtesy of IND Architects

The Russian-Armenian SULIMAN, RAKOVSKAYA & SOFOYAN became the winner in the nomination Urban Furniture. In the image of Park Bench the architects were trying to find a legend and use the cultural code of Armenia. 

Winners announced for the development of the Friendship Park competition in Armenia

SULIMAN, RAKOVSKAYA & SOFOYAN's Urban Furniture Park Bench. Image courtesy of SULIMAN, RAKOVSKAYA & SOFOYAN

Modern bench supports made of heavy stone enable you to sit down next to a stranger without disturbing their comfort zone. On the flat front faces of the stone, you can place artistic or informational graphic bas-reliefs, telling people more about this place. The length of the bench can vary depending on the context, gathering in linear and group compositions.

The competition is a part of the integrated development of the park reflecting the city’s identity and conveying the idea of international collaboration. 

A total of 84 applications were received from 16 countries and 37 cities. Local architects were also actively involved, including two collaborations with Russian architects. 

An expert jury selected winners by online voting. The assessment criteria included the relevance of architects’ design principles, which are functionality, environmental friendliness, ergonomics and implementation possibility. The jury also took into account compliance with the Terms of Reference, architectural appearance, cost of implementation and solutions for local identity, namely, the adaptation of modern solutions to the cultural context of Armenia.

The jury is comprised of renowned experts, including Alexandra Sytnikova, CEO of the consulting bureau ATLAS, Andrey Ivanov, Architect and Researcher, Nune Petrosyan, Deputy Chair for the Urban Development Committee of Armenia, Darius Reznek, Partner at the Dutch design studio Karres en Brands, Francesco Garofalo, Founding partner of landscape bureau Openfabric, Udo Dagenbach, Landscape architect and founder of the bureau Glaßer und Dagenbach GBR, Fedor Rashchevsky, Chief Architect and Partner of OFFCON Bureau, Emma Baghdasaryan, Aide to the Head of Shirak Regional Administration, Yelena Abovyan, Chief Operations Officer of the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation. 

"Life goes on and, despite everything that has happened, we will build a new Armenia for our children. The restored and re-imagined Friendship Park will become a unique public space, fostering the development of tourism and the city’s infrastructure. In this context, the international competition gave an opportunity to young and talented architects to have their unique input in Gyumri - a city of rich history, culture and traditions," said Ruben Vardanyan, Co-Founder of IDeA Foundation. 

"The winners will become co-creators of a new, innovative public space for the city. It is very important, that the people of Gyumri are actively involved in the development of the park’s conceptual design. They have also embraced the significance of the international competition, which, along with setting a new precedent, reinforces the core idea of the park – a symbol of friendship. This project brought people together and this truly will be a park of friendship and gratitude."

The park is located in the northern part of the city, between the historical center and residential and industrial areas. The central street links all the main sights and public spaces of Gyumri. The renovated park will become the first modern green area in the Republic of Armenia remaining a significant place and attraction point in Gyumri on the way popular among locals and tourists.

Top image: IND Architects' proposal "Gardening School". Image courtesy of IND Architects

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