• VOLCANO (2010)


    Competition on the Development of the Architectural concept for an International Business Center with an Intercontinental Hotel in the City of Yerevan

  • Our project presents a volcanic erruption of beauty.

    One of the hills in the historical city of Yerevan will explode creating a unique volcanic concept for an International Multifunctional Center.
    Imagine that the area cracks in the middle and transforms its layers into the volcano’s slopes.
    This is what our project arose from – the idea of creating a monumental area burying itself into the surroundings. 
    The city center is placed in the middle of mountainous and hilly area, where Armenians for hundreds of years have been building their households. We are trying to copy their traditional methods of building houses and the rules of choosing the appropriate area. 
    The ‘Volcano’ will integrate with Armenian mentality and it will not interfere with the surroundings. Our project smoothly penetrates and interweaves the Armenian history and tradition.
    We take all the best from the Armenian soil and create the exterior of the ‘Volcano’. What is more, we use the properties of the volcanic stone, which as an extremely fertile soil, makes a perfect base to create a beautiful green areas on it. It brings life and people want to occupy these lands as well.
    All the above gives great possibilities of development. 

    Armenians aren’t afraid of the gradients and they have always used the best of the hilly surroundings. We learn from the best, so the exterior part of the designed area is arranged in a terraced way, adapting the hills for their own needs. It brings ecological and surface benefits out of which we get a complex of luxurious multifunctional area with huge parts of greenery as well. 
    We create a totally new hill in the city of Yerevan, which from the distance looks as if it was an active volcano.
    The outside slopes are flexible, modular, changeable, so the Armenians still have the weapon of choice in building the shape of our project by adding new, predesigned modules, boxes to the already built skeleton.

     Another crucial part of the project will be placed in the epicenter of the ‘Volcano’. A huge square will be located there, which will be used as the main area of a number of different events and performances. It will also have the role of linking the internal, sophisticated world, with the external places in the city.
    The idea of creating the core of the project is to gather all the inhabitants in one, central point and to diffuse them to their own homes, modules.
    So the core is like a hub of the universe gathering all people before letting them go to the other functional areas. 
    There is no need of wandering, not being noticed, around underground routes or lifts. People’s communication area is aggregated within the uplifted walls.
     This is how modern technology and modern architecture comes into being – based on the sociological research, understanding Armenian’s society and of the inhabitants of the city of Yerevan.

    This luxurious ‘volcanic’ zone becomes a separate city – there are no ‘dead points’ thanks to a number of technological and architectural ‘tricks’, which we propose in our project.

    To achieve a vision of a sustainable city of the luxury and beauty, a clear strategy for the development has been formulated. This strategy is an operational tool that creates cohesion between the various challenges presented to the project and ensures that the project will be developed and implemented in a way that is consistent with the vision of the sustainable city in the future. The new city district will be based on a holistic approach so as to ensure that the whole will be bigger and better than the sum of the individual elements. 
    Every aspect of our project is based on a flexible strategy, which uses the role of the core and circulation, both of which enables the stage effect of the investment. 

    ‘Volcano’ follows the rule of dynamic structure that is changeable in time and, what is more, it gains its modularity, thanks to which it becomes adaptable to the already existing trends and financial conditions. Furthermore, the predesigned modules make the development of the project economically interesting, more effective and, what is the most important, it makes the realization much easier and faster.
     What is more, it keeps along with the tradition and historical symbols. One of the external walls of the highest and the most important building is designed to be covered with a Khatchkar pattern, which makes it even look more like an authentic Armenian mountain – ‘Volcano’.
    The highest building (101metres) of this volcanic area is the first Intercontinental Hotel in the city of Yerevan, which is designed like it has been hollowed in the mountain. The idea of hollowing the kind of entry gate enables gathering all the inhabitants of the city Yerevan at the foot of the ‘Volcano’ while their first ‘journey’ into the volcanic complex. What emphasizes the Intercontinental Hotel’s domination over the area is the incredible elevation covered with, previously mentioned, Khatchkar mosaic. What is more, all the windows of the hotel and the top floor with, open for general use, the viewing terrace are overlooking the Mount Ararat – the pride of Armenia.


  • The project consists of six ‘petals’, which make six ownership zones, designed in a centric system. Each zone has the slanted shape of the external walls that make the multifunctional buildings well exposed to the sun rays. The incorporation of different functions in one building allows to compensate 24 hour energy peaks, making the center alive, without the place for any ‘dead points’. It balances the consumption of the energy in such a way that that during a daytime the external walls are exposed to the sun rays (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.), while night time is reserved for the internal part of the building (4 p.m. – 8 a.m.). we also propose the idea of an internal core in each building, which has the role of a natural ‘windtower’ in order to support mechanical vent that spare the energy cost.
    The problem of lack of water has also been taken into consideration in our project. We have designed a core in each building that, apart from being a natural ‘windtower’, has also another important role. It is designed to collect extensive rainwater and reuse it thanks to the down/rise pipe system changing the rainwater into greywater. Thanks to the effort to act locally and to reuse the resources we have, we decided to collect and store the rainwater for infiltration and irrigation of the open green areas located at the terraced parts of the buildings. Most of the evaporation goes through the leaves making the ‘microclimate’ milder thanks to the shape of the ‘living’ wall. This specific shape of the external walls enables rainwater to be collected in an effective way as well.
    The whole structure is to be sufficiently strong and robust to form a firm framework for urban development. Having an underground circular parking lot, with separate pedestrian and driving area and with the link between three storeys it aims at people’s comfort. It aims also at the need of flexibility so as to adapt the urban structure that can constantly develop and change its appearance and function over time.