An open international contest has been launched to revamp the Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan
The free-to-enter competition – organised by Armenian think tank UrbanLab – invites participants to propose a ‘bold and iconic’ overhaul of the landmark cultural venue located at 1/3 Buzand Street overlooking Republic Square and the National Art Gallery in the heart of the capital city.
The phased project, supported by the Boghossian Foundation, aims to triple the size of the gallery which has hosted experimental art since the early 1990s. A new 200-seat auditorium, media hub, café, book shop, art store, library, rental shop and film production workshop will also be delivered along with guest space for three resident artists.
According to the brief: ‘The current redevelopment project is a multi-stage plan for future growth, revivification and expansion. It aims to achieve a new culture of openness and knowledge production that would be concurrent with the current political reality of Armenia and hopes to engage the support of the Armenian Diaspora in the development of local creative industries.
‘Serving as a meeting point between the art community, the youth, the general public, the creative and business sector, the revived Centre should become a facilitator between innovative artistic thinking, mass culture, and industry. Based on a new managerial model, NPAK’s redevelopment presents an opportunity to create the largest temporary exhibition space in Armenia, which will simultaneously serve as one of the key cultural, entertainment and educational hubs in Yerevan.’
Located on the banks of the Hrazdan River, Yaravan is the largest city of Armenia and thought to be one of the oldest continually occupied settlements in the world. Formerly part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, the city became the capital of the independent Republic of Armenia in 1991.
The Armenian Centre for Contemporary Experimental Art – known locally as NPAK – occupies a prominent building originally built during the 1980s for the Yerevan Project Design Institute. After the fall of communism the structure became the headquarters of the gallery.
The institute hosts workshops, exhibitions and conferences and has represented the country at the Venice Art Biennale. The latest project aims to revitalise and expand the venue while respecting its architectural heritage.
Anonymous submissions should include two or three display boards along with an A4 information sheet. A masterplan, floor plan, elevation, sections, three interior renders and 500 words of explanation will be required.
Judges include Philip Gumuchdjian of the UK’s Gumuchdjian Architects; Albert Boghossian, Boghossian Foundation Co-Chairman; Arthur Meschyan, chief architect of Yerevan; Eduard Balassanian, NPAK co-founder; architect and art historian Misak Khostikyan, architect and artist Nadim Karam; architect and planner Sarhat Petrosyan; Verena von Beckerath, chair for Design and Housing at Bauhaus-Universität Weimar; and curator and art historian Vigen Galstyan.
The overall winner – to be announced 3 July – will receive a 2.5 million AMD ($5,000 USD) prize while a second prize of 1.5 million AMD ($3,000 USD) and third prize of 1 million AMD ($2,000 USD) will also be awarded.
The deadline for applications is 25 June.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information