District 33, better known to the public as “Firdusi”, is one of the last surviving historical districts of Yerevan, which is located in the city center, next to the Republic Square. The square was formed as a paradigmatic symbol of Soviet urban development, and as a representative site for Soviet and post-Soviet power (formerly Lenin statue and currently Government buildings) and cultural heritage (History Museum and National Gallery). Standing in contrast to this environment, a district –i. e. Firdusi – was preserved next to it, which was formed in the late-18th century, and developed till the early 21th century.
Firdusi street and the District are unique traces of the city space from previous periods. This is one of the few streets in Yerevan that not only hasn’t changed its name over the centuries, or undergone radical transformations (both in urban development and sociol-cultural terms), but also remains a district, where people live their lives according to customs and traditions developed over many generations. The District contrasts with the city centre and becomes an alternative zone, where spontaneous architecture, one-or two-storey houses and orchards prevail.
All these elements oppose the formal, mainly Soviet architecture, which the District is surrounded by. Spontaneous construction and life prevail inside the District, while along the perimeter, it is surrounded by representative examples of architectural monuments dating from the 19th century to the early 1930s.
By initiating this competition, the Committee for the Protection of Yerevan’s Heritage, aims to find the best alternative solution for the revitalization of the urban environment of the District.
The purpose of the conceptual proposals regarding the revitalization of the urban environment is: to point out economically, socially and environmentally feasible, and sustainable solutions through open and competitive processes at the urban development level, which will be based on the principle of conservation and re-evaluation of the historically-formed urban environment.
The proposals should suggest solutions to the four issues stated below:
- Formation of an urban environment with high standards of living; protection of historic layers in relation to the harmonious development of the spontaneously-formed environments; responsible environmental approach; economic feasibility and sustainability.
Taking into account the aggressive real-estate development projects (North and Main Avenues, Old Yerevan project, etc.) of the last few decades, as well as the anticipated future projects (Kond, Noragyugh and etc.), the proposals should formulate a new standard for urban environment planning, facilitate the integration of different social groups and the transformation of their perceptions of the District.
Participants should pay special attention to the development of the urban environment, offering in particular:
- Internal pedestrian, cycle and vehicle movement, complementing and not interfere each other, especially underlining pedestrian movement and public spaces;
- Existing urban flow system with the aim of connecting the District to greater junctions, such as Republic Square, Main Avenue adjunct area with the Vernissage (Flea market) and Ayrarat (Rossia) cinema;
- Development of diverse public spaces, as well as solutions boosting interconnectivity of spaces;
- Developing and spurring solutions for the neighbouring public institutions;
- Taking into account the adjunct large transport junctions, as well as the metro (subway), it is necessary to provide the required minimum number of parking lots and offer car-free pedestrian zones.
The historically formed urban environment, having its unique, market formation pattern, needs to be rediscovered and reevaluated. By harmonious existence we mean a new environmental approach for Yerevan with a proper respectful approach to spontaneous developments, arising during the past two centuries, as well as creating prerequisites for future similar developments.
- Preserve urban fabric and historical directions;
- Reintegration of buildings and fragments, which can showcase the District’s past and can also define the future of the District; without disrupting the visual integrity of the Republic Square, also taking into account the monuments neighboring Hanrapetutyan Street and Tigran Mets Avenue;
- To the highest extent possible preserve the current construction typologies of the District;
- Pay particular attention to the re-use of existing gardens and include them into the suggested proposals.
Being aware of the global and local environmental challenges, in their proposals the participants should develop systemic solutions aimed at reducing extra loading on engineering networks because of the new development of the District. At the same time, having a positive effect on the microclimate of the surrounding, minimizing the formation of urban heat islands in the District.
- Consider an opportunity for rainwater re-use approaches, as well as natural absorbing landscaping solutions in order to reduce the burden on stormwater systems;
- Propose design solutions which will reflect on specific climate conditions: shelter from the summer heat and from the winter cold;
- Develop energy efficient solutions and buildings;
- Stress the use of materials with low carbon impact on the environment.
The proposal needs to be presented in a PDF format on minimum 2 maximum 3 sheets in 700x1000mm dimension, in 300 dpi resolution.
Each sheet needs to have an eight-dig- it number on the top right corner as an identification code for each applica- tion. Identification code should be in Tahoma Bold or in any other standard font with 18 pt.
Digital materials, with the identification code, should be named as aforemen- tioned: ID_DESIGN.PDF 01234567_DESIGN.PDF
Each applicant needs to make another A4 Info Sheet with a file name of the same eight-digit identification code. The body of Info Sheet needs to have the same eight-digits, full name(s) of the author(s) of the proposal and also the creative input percentage of each author, contact information that must include postal address, phone number and email address.
The name of the additional files should be created in the same logic.
All final files for application should be in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) and should not exceed 100 Mb altogether.
The final files need to be sent via one of these file sharing websites: WeTransfer, Dropbox, OneCloud and iCloud. Files from other sources will be considered as incomplete applications. The appli- cation packages need to be accessible for 3 days at the very least.
An email with a direct download link needs to be sent to [email protected] email address with the eight digits in the subject line. The Info Sheet needs to be attached to the email with direct link from one of the above mentioned file sharing websites in the email body.
Submitted proposal needs to consist the below mentioned drawings, which can be exceeded based on the nature of the proposal:
- Master Plan Of the District in mini- mum 1:1000 scale
- Flow chart diagram
- District Sections and Elevations
- Bird eye view
- Urban Design Renderings
- Short description of the proposal,, maximum 500 words
- District 33 overlapped with the center of the city
All textual information needs to be in English. Armenian versions or transla- tions are welcome but not an essential requirement.
No sign of a legal and/or informal entity, name(s) of the author(s) should be put on any proposal submitted. This info can appear on the Info Sheet only.
Competition is open for all interested individuals and teams from around the world without any restriction. There is no application fee for participation.