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Open contest to revive modernist building of Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art

, Deadlines
Author Lynsey Free

A competition has been announced to revive the Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art (NPAK), which is housed in a Soviet-era modernist building in Yerevan.

Photo courtesy NPAK

The building which houses NPAK was designed by architect Fenix Darbinyan and partially built in the 1980s as an auditorium facility for Yerevan Project Design Institute. In 1992, after the fall of the Soviet Union, it was allocated to NPAK. The arts center, which is at the forefront of the evolution of contemporary art in Armenia, began operations in the building in 1996.

The T-shaped building’s revitalization is aimed at developing it into a space which will not only serve as a hub for art viewing and production, but also as a place of urban and cultural interaction.

Minimum design requirements include redevelopment plans for 18 areas of the building, including its large and small exhibition halls, theatre, lecture room, and cafeteria, among others.

Proposals must use contemporary architectural language that is “conscious of social and experimental responsibility, the importance for radical technical experimentation, and the need to sustain a dialogue with the Centre’s legacy and its traditions,” says urbanlab, the think-do-share lab behind the contest.

The winning architectural solution must also “pay equal attention to exterior forms of the reconstruction and the attributes of internal design.” The arts center must be a site where “every available space and surface could potentially enable display, engagement, and communication.” Applicants have been advised to pay special attention to the optimization of NPAK’s limited outdoor areas.

While applicants are invited to develop bold and iconic interventions, they are equally encouraged to preserve the original architectural outline of the building, including key design elements such as the building's main hall and its signature large round window.

The competition is open to all interested individuals and teams from around the world, without restriction. Applicants must submit their proposals by June 25. Winners will be announced on July 3.

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Photos courtesy NPAK

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The total award budget for the competition is 6,000,000 AMD (approximately US$12,000). The 1st Place winner will receive 2,5000,000 AMD (US$5,000). Prizes for Second Place, Third Place, and Jury Mentions will also be awarded.

The jury will consist of nine members from across the globe, with architect Philip Gumuchdjian of Gumuchdjian Architects (UK) serving as jury chair. Other members hail from Armenia, Switzerland, Lebanon, Germany, Australia, and the US.

Complete details of the submission requirements can be seen here.

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