“The Demand of the Architects not to Demolish the Old Building of Zvartnots Airport Received No Feedback.”
There is no reaction of relevant agencies about the issue that the concerned architects raised over the dismantling of the old building of "Zvartnots" airport.

Anahit Tarkhanyan, Architecture, Daughter of the author of the Zvartnots Airport old building, Hrach Poghosyan, Honored architect, Academician of the International Academy of Architecture and Grigor Azizyan, Director of "Arm Project" Institution, Chairman of the Subcommittee of Urban Development of the Public Council presented their concerns and demands during the discussion on “The Fate of the Old Building of Zvartnots Airport: At What Stage are the Dismantling Activities?” at Media Center today.

Anahit Tarkhanyan said that she was at Zvartnots Airport on July 7 and saw what kind of activities are conducted there.

According to the official statement of chief architect of Yerevan Tigran Barseghyan issued on January 13, 2015, "" Armenia "International Airports" CJSC was given a planning permission on December 24, 2015 (architectural and planning tasks), by which the company must perform the development of draft documentation of expansion of Zvartnots international airport and renovation of the old terminal.

At the same time, given the report No. 1 drawn up about the technical conditions of the institutions and the seismic vulnerability assessment by “Seismic Protection Western Service" SNCO, 01/18-E-1157-82 overpass permission of the emergency demolition of the old terminal of the building was submitted to the ““Armenia” International Airports" CJSC on December 24, 2015. 

“But today are very concerning activities are taking place, demolition has nothing to do with the dismantling. They just demolish and collapse the building barbarically," Tarkhanyan said,”I noticed several damages on the main building while demolishing the estacada. I assume that they were the bridges that connected the estacada with the main building.”

She insisted that neither the Yerevan municipality, the State Property Management Department, nor the Argentine-Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian, the owner of "Armenia International Airports" company, did not respond to the demands and concerns raised by the architects.

''No one is interested in what terms and how the demolition takes place, having only a demolition permit and having no actual drawings, no reason for the demolition activities. We have no information and do not even know if the company is licensed to work or not,'' Tarkhanyan said.   

Hrach Poghosyan noted that each building can have problems, but it does not mean that the building should be demolished.

“This process has 2 sides –legal and moral. It is known that the airport is considered one of the best examples of Soviet postmodernism, world architects recognized it as the best building. In other words, it is a value and that value belongs to our people and the architects are struggling to maintain people’s property. During this period, the public spoke about the preservation of the old building, the Architects' Union spoke, the Public Council spoke, a discussion was held and all the decisions of the Council on the demolition were negative, after which the issue was discussed several times at the Ministry of Urban Development. To neglect all these discussions and do what you want is immoral,” Poghosyan said.

Grigor Azizyan said that if they demolish a building that is considered to be a historical cultural object, they should have at least a draft project.

“We have constantly referred to the fact that they should present what developments they see. After several unsuccessful performances, as there is no actual project, there is only a general plan, we submitted our draft version which was drawn by George Shekhlyan. We presented a project that by using the old airport gives solutions to the questions that are raised by the customer,” Azizyan said.

The architects say that they have received no response or feedback about their draft proposal so far.  

“The old airport building can be enhanced by a very small amount. Without investing large amounts of money. It is estimated to be about 20-40 million dollars and it is not a large amount," Azizyan said and the other architects unanimously agreed that 20-40 million is not a lot of money compared to 110 million dollars that Ernekian is going to invest.

At the end of the discussion, the architects said that the same approach was made also in the cases of demolition of other historical, architectural buildings.

“Without having the draft project, they demolish. One is the House of Youth and the other is closed market place, everything has started without presenting any projects and the demolitions began. And what is happening today in the House of Youth, nothing - demolished and deserted place for already 12 years," Azizyan added. 

Invitations were sent to the Yerevan Municipality and the State Property Management Department, but there was no response from the municipality to participate in the discussion and the State Property Management Department refused to participate.

Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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