2.02 | 1924 | Plan | New Yerevan

At first proposed by Alexander Tamanian to the Republic Council in 1923 in form of official proposal, later approved and adopted in 1924, Yerevan, the capital city for Armenians, no matter the succession of the political governance, was developed mainly based on this version. Named New Yerevan for 150,000 inhabitants , Tamanian published more elaborated and revised versions of modern Yerevan based on the basic layout, scheme and planning principles in which he kept in this 1924 plan. 

As mentioned in narratives, Tamanian zoned the city upon the ideas of  “the architecture of the city is a museum for the people” (see 1.02) and also Garden City (see 1.10). Despite numerous revisions, these principles remains and makes this version expressively representing the historical and national story of modern Yerevan urban development. The proposal (figure 68 and 69) written by Tamanian, to Soviet Armenia Central Committee for the proposal of New Yerevan in 1923 and 1924, illustrate his rationale and measures of the master planning in figure 69. In which, he set up the principles of:

 

  1. Reconstruction of rural construction in hygiene, in which new principles that meet the requirements of culture and technology (see 1.02);

  2. Improvement and development of Armenian cities on the example of Western European cities (see 1.10);

  3. Creation of an irrigation and channel system – acreage – to expand the maximum range it can reach (see 1.03)

  4. Extensive use of the water resources of the rivers of Armenia for hydroelectric power system for electric light, heating and propulsion (see 1.03)

  5. Road construction (see 1.06)

  6. The application of the use of new but local building materials in the territory (there are many types of AR-shaped structure) (see 1.04)

  7. Construction and publication.

  8. Development of general master planning of programs and construction plan (figure 69 – 71);

  9. Submission to the Council of proposals on all technical issues that are given to it for consideration;

  10. Plan for the most significant buildings, cities and villages of national significance, and other also significant projects (see 1.05)

  11. Drafts of projects for regulating public and private construction; drafts of the Charter, building code (գն) and price list of construction works and construction materials (together with workers ‘and peasants’ inspections);

  12. Plan for all government buildings for the Republic of Armenia  and its general management of RAR work. (see 1.05)

Figure 67. Alexander Tamanian, The General Plan of New Yerevan. 1924. Available from: HAYGIRK (accessed December 2. 2020).

 

Figure 68. Tamanian, Alexander. “The Proposal of Yerevan Reconstruction to the Chairman of State Council”. Armenian SSR Public Administration Academy, f. 40/113, c.3, c. 181 (1923). 2. Available From: National Library of Armenia, http://haygirk.nla.am/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=1169. (Accessed December 2. 2020). Text translated by author of this post.

REPUBLIC OF SOVIET ARMENIA
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF THE REPUBLIC

Proposal from Al. Tamanian

 

From 1 August to 2 August

With no doubt along the growing prosperity of the national economy, architecture and construction will constantly develop and take an important role for so many years, in which the need of the state is extremely huge. Armenia has been subjected to the complete pause after the unbearable destruction brought by the war given the fact that the standing buildings during the war have been shaken.

The demand in the construction sector should be highlighted for Armenia’s development over the territory that was hardly planned from Armenian perspective for such a long time, when and where it was only a remote province of a larger state. This territory never occupied any significance in the general master planning in terms of any state construction. Everything built was not associated to the needs of Armenians – nothing represented Armenia or its culture. Everything, has been done, has been stamped with despondency and backwardness.

At present, the creation of a new state order widens the possibility for cultural development, and the people are establishing the foundation for the creative work full of a new character, which is far beyond mere satisfaction of partial needs. To face and solve these problems, it is crucial to build an organized state based on the latest requirement of culture and technology. The following questions are posed in turn:

 

  1. Reconstruction of rural construction in hygiene, in which new principles that meet the requirements of culture and technology;
  2. Improvement and development of Armenian cities on the example of Western European debt cities;
  3. Creation of an irrigation and channel system – acreage – to expand the maximum range it can reach;
  4. Extensive use of the water resources of the rivers of Armenia for hydroelectric power system for electric light, heating and propulsion;
  5. Road construction;
  6. The application of the use of new but local building materials in the territory (there are many types of AR-shaped structure)
  7. Construction and publication.

Based on the consideration of successful implementation of civic architecture and the following activities as well as the better use of funds raised in public, it is necessary that all the public work carried out in the Republic should be proceeded from the master planning and complied with the relevant requirements. For better completion of projects requiring more technical training and execution, a corresponding technical body or committee should be created under the framework of public council. The following responsibility should be assigned and entitled:

  1. Development of general master planning of programs and construction plan;
  2. Submission to the Council of proposals on all technical issues that are given to it for consideration;
  3. Plan for the most significant buildings, cities and villages of national significance, and other also significant projects;
  4. Drafts of projects for regulating public and private construction; drafts of the Charter, building code (գն) and price list of construction works and construction materials (together with workers ‘and peasants’ inspections);
  5. Plan for all government buildings for the Republic of Armenia  and its general management of RAR work.

For equipment of all state institutions of the Republic, all bodies must follow the instructions of the technical body entitled under the Council.

May 23, 1923,
in the city of Yerevan.

Figure 69. Alexander Tamanian “The Report for the Planning of Yerevan,” Soviet Halastan, November 4, 1924. Available From: National Library of Armenia, http://haygirk.nla.am/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=1169. (Accessed December 2. 2020).

The Report of the Planning of Yerevan

It is possible to divide the construction of the city into two parts: the Old Persian and new Russian. The fortress was the heart of the old Yerevan during the Persian dominance. On the left side of today’s Abovian Street, Armenians were living and on it’s right side, Persians were living. These areas lack urban image, their streets are not streets in European standards, and they are more narrow and irregular passages which are often dead-ended. Constructing the Abovian and some other main streets gave Yerevan the shape of a city, but no other change has been made since. This is a not enough situation and if continued, the city will face invincible problems. At least twice area is needed.

We are facing a problem, expanding the city, constructing big buildings for accommodating the population. Continuing the construction in the boundaries of the current plan will create great density which will create health problems for the next generations. Therefore, we need to take big and courageous steps to overcome this problem. The city is located on both mountain and plain boundaries. In the north there is a specific plateau and in the south, plain farmlands. This phenomenon promotes the city’s development. There are major hubs around the city, Ghamarlou, Vagharshapad, Ashdarak, Oshakan, Akhda and etc. Economically, these areas are appealing to center which is Yerevan.

The city needs to have a center and some areas which are very well connected to the center by means of circular streets. The streets are 20-42 meters wide according to the importance and length. The residential streets need to be narrower, 12-17 meters. The streets should have wide sidewalks with tree lines along their length. The tree lines are indispensable because of the hot climate of the city. 10-15% of the area should be dedicated to parks, 9-10 square meter for each resident. It is also necessary to have streets without buildings. Filled with trees and green areas called “city’s lungs” providing clean air for the center. This is very much like Vienna after demolishing the city wall.

New government buildings will be in the center, around the main square. According to this approved plan (the plan shown in figure 69), there is a square named after Lenin in the center of the city, which will extend from Zero Park to the House of Culture, bordering on one side of Arovyan and on the another of Nalbandyan street. The statue is already a page on the square. The main state buildings are planned on the same square. This will be the administrative center, the city.

The commercial zone will be close to the center, on the south west of the square. There will be a covered market and chains of shops. Merchants will have stores in this area. The current market has taken shape but in triangle so I suggest straightening the existing border and making it another square. It is important that shops be close to a center enclosed by Marx Street, the series of public parks and another side of the street. The government building of the Labour Exchange and the office for Executive Committee will be located in the same place.

The industrial zone is in the south, close to the railroads. There will be another large square on the dark side of the communal park, where the railway station is located, despite some already resolved prevention before. The Transcaucasian Railway Department has been established in a hurry. Next to the station, a town where all industrial enterprises and factories is located. The prevalent winds in Yerevan are from North to South so the city will be protected from the dust and smoke of the industrial zone.

The university zone is 50 acres and is in north east. The medical faculty together with clinic will remain there, where it is at present, on the left side of Arovyan street. Students’ dormitories and teachers’ residence will be located in the same place in which 1,000 people in total will be accommodated.

The arts and entertainment zone is located 350 meters north from the main square at the end of the current Sundukyan Street. The state theatre, an art and technical school as well as the conservatory will be built in the middle of large gardens in this area. In Europe, physical wellness is very important for the wellness of the next generation, therefore, two stadiums are designed. One in the north west, the other south west. The state museum including eight sectors in a circular shape according to the topography of the hill is in the Kond area. A large flower garden is designed in the middle of the eight museum buildings. The area is connected to the center with the streets and a large staircase in the middle looking towards the city.

A tunnel is connecting the city to the other side of the Kond. Between the museums and commercial zone, there is a big land, on the slope of the river gorge, protected from dust and sun drenched which is dedicated to parliament representatives. The city should be spread out in the form of parks.

The southern park of the city has been developed and right now it is waterless but the current focus of the research is to find the possibility to connect the area of 700 acres of land to the hydroelectricity network by building underground irrigation.

Additionally, a number of new streets will be opened, such as the Grand Avenue, which will emerge from the confluence of the current Behrut and Arskakya Street. The avenue will continue to the back of the House of Culture. A park will be built to continue the walk from Marx Street to Lake Tokhmakhan between the House of Union and the post office, and it will become a nursery with fresh air as children ‘s playground.

It will lead to another street from the Administrative Zone to the Central Station, a street with a beautiful view of the Mount Ararat. One street will lead to the sight of Hrazden Cascade. For those who want to see have to go through a number of dirty streets. The street will lead you to Sayat-Nova dam. The construction of this street has already started. The view from the Great Avenue to Ararat. Several streets will have to be widened in order to provide sufficient natural sunlight to the existing apartments. The current width is only 9 3/4 metres whereas the streets in Tbilisi is 20 metres in width.

The buildings planned and to be built will be divided into two types, to serve public purposes and to serve the private use. For the building code, the former one will be designed in 2-3-4 storeys, the latter one cannot exceed than 3-storey.

1924, Yerevan

Reference:

Tamanian, Alexander. “Articles and Reports Written by Al. Tamanian.” In Ալեքսանդր ԹամանյանՀոդվածներփաստաթղթերժամանակակիցները նրա մասինedited by Կարապետ ԹադևոսիԶորյան ՏիրատուրյանԼևոն ՍտեփանիՄազմանյանՀ.ՍՄազմանյանՄիքայել ԴավթիԱրվեստի ինստիտուտ ՀՍՍՌ ԳԱ. Yerevan: USSR Academy of Sciences, 1960. http://haygirk.nla.am/cgi-bin/koha/opac-detail.pl?biblionumber=1169

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