Intercontinental Hotel Yerevan Armenia

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Concept for the International Business Centre and Intercontinental Hotel, Yerevan. 1) PLANNING ANALYSIS   A major Urban Node The project's site, due to its specific location, represents one of the terminal nodes of this amphitheatre city designed by the architect, Tamanian, as well as a major connecting urban node between the twentieth century city layout and the neighbourhoods belonging to the wave of new urban expansion. Moreover, the area is in the centre of the main arteries linking the capital to the northern regions. And this is where Tamanian's city ends and the ascent to the northern plateau, which dominates the city, begins.   Similarities With its particular geographical associations, this site resembles a citadel, bringing to mind the lay-out of the citadel at Erepouni, and recalling the fortified cities of the past, medieval monasteries, places for prayer and cultural centres as well as those places offering travellers refuge and hospitality.  Such places were often to be found at the junction of main communication highways, the territorial nodes of the past. An urban link  Develop and strengthen the role of the IBC site's urban link. (International Business Centre). Our planning proposal felt it extremely important to emphasise (give more significance to) the site's role of junction, and urban and historic link, through an architectural initiative which would leave its mark on the urban fabric, this being, furthermore, one of the competition's objectives. The idea consists of creating a symbolic portal connecting past and future, representing the passage from the historic centre and its neo-classical style to the new zone of urban expansion in Yerevan's North area, towards a new architectural language. This site, precisely because of its role as a node, will have to be visible from many parts of the city thanks to its tower which will dominate the capital.   Yerevan's IBC will be the new commercial and cultural citadel, and hotel area.     2) STYLE AND ARCHITECTURAL LANGUAGE   It would have been all too easy to fall into the temptation of suggesting an umpteenth replica of the Armenian architecture in existence at the beginning of the twentieth century, repeating and representing the style and motifs transmitted by Tamanian and his contemporaries.   Just as easy would have been the temptation to imitate sublimation of shape and modern architectural sculptures, repeating the "International Style" of the towers of Dubai, Shanghai and Singapore; places where, for the most part, the architecture celebrates itself, and is often without connection or links to the environment, the surrounding territory and the culture of its location.   We maintain that the pathway best fitting the competition's theme consists in looking for a new architectural language, able to express the present, and that is the particular historic and cultural moment characterised by the rebirth of the young Armenian Republic and the urban rebirth of the capital, Yerevan.     Urban Continuity   Carrying on in the spirit of the philosophy which inspired Tamanian, seeking new languages, but also continuing the urban vision and serene architecture of excellence fitting for the city of Yerevan in the 21st century.   We felt it equally important to mark the move from Tamanian's and his contemporaries' Classical architecture to a new, but valid, architectural language, introduced into the territory's historical and cultural setting.   Our opinion is that at a time of heavy urban expansion, that we think is only just beginning, this is an opportunity that Yerevan cannot afford to lose.  It mustn't fall into the errors that so many other cities have slipped into, driven by property speculation, combined with the speed and euphoria of progress.  This transforms the suburbs into anonymous areas, lacking any link with their context nor should the city, as so often happens, fall into the banal action of reproducing to infinity the models of the past.   Our example should come from the works of Tamanian and his contemporaries who, at the time while still using some parameters of western architectural language, sought to, and succeeded in, creating a valid national architectural style which characterised an era, whose example lies before us all.   Seeking a new architectural language.   Our belief is that the time is right to take a step forwards in the direction of formal research, a language, able to interpret an Armenian architecture right for the 21st century. Obviously, present day construction methods would be used, but authenticity, together with historical and cultural roots, would be retained.   This project in no way claims to have succeeded, nor does it the audacity to impart lessons to others; it simply wishes to be a part of the formal research into a modern valid architectural language, without a doubt contaminated by present day construction methods, but deliberately connected to Armenia's culture and history.      3 THE SOURCE - LANDMARK PAR EXCELLENCE   It was important to find a powerful architectural symbol for the portal to this significant urban link. We looked for symbols in the territory, that is our historic territory; cultural and popular symbols, shared by all. We know that as testimony to Armenian architecture, all that remains are the churches and convents, but the element that we felt captured the most expressive popular display of Armenian art shared by all since time gone by was the Khatchkar.   [The Armenian territory is scattered with Khatchkar, (stone crosses in tufa), sculpted architectural element which, more than any other architectural work, represents the universal symbol of Armenian art, strongly linked to the land of Armenia and its people's traditions.   During the centuries of foreign domination, the Khatchkar represented the people's architectural expression par excellence, bequeathing us sculptures of high artistic value. In the contest of re-establishing national identity, khatchkars were erected for the most diverse of occasions, expressions of the Armenian people's art and religion, and became, literally, ubiquitous throughout the territory.   The khatchkar, the usual symbol of the Armenian art, the sublime expression and incomparable skill of Armenian artists in shaping and sculpting the stone. The Khatchkar, a Landmark par excellence.   The idea of a tower that would evoke and recreate the mass and proportions of a Khatchkar and recall this art is the main idea behind this 'concept', with the entire project revolving around this.   For this reason, an anonymous tower in a site of strategic importance for Yerevan's urban fabric was not even considered, but what was, was a tower which, while pointing towards the future, strongly recalled its cultural and architectural roots.   An architectural Landmark, with its proportions inspired by the Khatchkars, symbols of popular culture, as a portal sited on the axis of Via Teryan, and facing south-east, in the direction of Mount Ararat.   Project Description   Like a medieval citadel Armenian, the layout of floor plan provides for the placement of buildings around the outer perimeter of the lot, leaving a free space on the centre for a large square (Piazza) , as a meeting point and a symbol of exchange, including a garden and terrace with panoramic views of Yerevan and Mount Ararat.   Located on the north east side is the International Business Center. The Intercontinental Hotel is located at south-east, with the tower in line with the axis of Teryan street and the main facade  facing Mount Ararat. At the east and north-east side there will be situated the residential area.   The IBC as centre of business culture and art.   The I.B.C. is a building of irregular shape and wants to call the Mount Arakadz or generally high peaks of the skyline of Armenia. Spread over three floors and also has the function of a frame towards the Saralanji street. Within the 'IBC, it involves the construction of a multipurpose hall of 2300 m2, with the function of theatre, conference room and centre of arts and for various events.   This part of the building is directly connected to the lobby and through a wide corridor also to the commercial side. This side  wing consists of three commercial floors above ground for a total of 6000 m2 of gross floor area.     The plant is free and rotates around a central space lit from above. The hallways are ring-shaped central, commercial spaces are modular, with the possibility to place offices in both stores, while bar and cafe on the ground floor are provided in direct communication with the square.    The Intercontinental Hotel  The hotel occupies the south-west of the lot. All Services are located in the first three floors and forming an angle with the main facades, facing the city of Yerevan. All rooms and the apartments are located in the 101 meters high tower. On the ground floor, at Level 0, are situated the Entrance and Reception, the lobby with its Lounge Bar and Ballroom all with views to the south. At east of the wing after the ball room is located the wellness centre, also accessible from outside through a the arcade.  From the ground floor there is access to lower levels through a system of elevators and escalators. In the first basement, level -1, we find the restaurant and kitchen, while a corridor allowing access to the Gym and fitness room via a walkway overlooking the pool. Level -2 we have placed in the indoor pool in direct communication with the health club, outdoor pool with its open terrace on the city of Yerevan, a disco bar and then all the spaces in the warehouse, laundry and warehouse etc..