“It has been publicly stated for 15 years that the round building of Zvartnots Airport does not meet modern standards, cannot function properly and cannot serve as an international airport. But our studies show that in case of some investments it can serve as a modern airport,” architecture Anahit Tarkhanyan said and informed that a group of architects developed a modernization project of the round building as a result of which it will become a functional airport and the architectural look will be preserved.
The issue was also discussed at the Public Council which strongly opposed the demolition of the round building and proposed to accept architects Anahit Tarkhanyan’s and Jorj Shekhlyan’s modernization projects. “During the session of the Aviation Subcommittee of the Financial-Economic Commission of the Public Council, held on March 22, the master plan for 2013-2017 submitted by the Armenia International Airports CJSC concessionaire was considered unacceptable and it was proposed to RA President and the Government to prohibit any demolition activities till the approval of an alternative project,” President of the National Association of Aviators Grigori Vardanyan said.
According to the new project, the round building of the airport will be modernized and expanded at the expense of the reserved territories. “If we remove the car parking under the airport which is an international requirement, there will be enough territories to conduct the activities of the airport normally. Besides, if the new building requires 110 million USD invested and have 7 gates with the functional airport, our project requires 25 million USD. As a result, this building will be preserved and it will have 11 gates,” Anahit Tarkhanyan said.
The concessionaire invested 160 million USD for the construction of Zvartnots Airport building. “According to the contract, whatever the concessionaire builds from scratch becomes its property, whatever is restored or modernized is a state property,” the speaker said and added that this may be the reason why the concessionaire does not want to make investments for the modernization and claims to make a new one.
Honored architect Sashur Qalashyan, Head of Architectural Studio “Armproject”, said that the airport needs development and restoration in accordance with the modern standards, so some changes in the building are not excluded. But it does not mean that the cultural value should be subordinated to the fulfillment of these tasks.
“In all the countries where such problems arose, the buildings were preserved and exploited for other purposes. Our objective is to preserve the building of Zvartnots. Whether it will be the concessionaire’s or state property is another issue. It is our cultural face and architectural value which should not be demolished,” he concluded.
Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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