Reviving NPAK competition, Yerevan

2019 - 2019
5000 m²

The main entrance to NPAK is hardly accessible as it is located in the end of a narrow patio, which is sandwiched between the volume of NPAK building and seven-story building of municipality. The monumental volume of existing building is too “silent” to express the idea of NPAK. The analysis of situational problems and the requirements of the competition lead us to the following concept.

Volume concept: We suggest keeping large surfaces of stone i. e the main volume, wrapping it with semitransparent glass shell, with various offset size on each floor, that will emphasize the multifunctionality and increase the attractiveness of NPAK.

Functional concept: As it was told, the entrance to NPAK from park is hard to access. As the difference between the entrance and the park is 1.30m, entering the building gets even more uncomfortable. The distance between the sidewalk and the building is quite big, which allows us to reach the entrance easily with the help of terraces/stairs. In the lobby, where ticket/info desk and wardrobe are situated, the flow of visitors is divided into two main directions:

1) to the workshops, seminars, library and lift lobby to the lecture room and theatre/cinema.

2) to the exhibition halls, the winter garden and the bookstore/cafeteria. Two panoramic lifts in the round atrium serve all the floors from -0.88 where main restrooms are situated, to winter garden on the level +16.95. The restaurant has a separate entrance from the park but also is accessible from inside. Technical and administrative entrances are on Tchaikovsky Street.

Volume solutions: The semitransparent shell consists of three slab-shaped volumes, beginning from 1st floor. On that floor, the shell covers the lecture room, the large exhibition hall and the bookstore/cafeteria. On the 2nd floor, the shell covers the theatre/cinema and the small exhibition hall. The 3rd floor- winter garden is newly constructed by lowering the existing height to the edge of the adjacent residential building. This shell covers the stage box of the theatre and includes the open-air atrium.

Functional solutions: The bookstore/cafeteria is designed as the lobby of exhibition halls and is connected to the ground floor with a moving walkway. All the exhibition halls, including winter garden are connected between each other with ramps. These ramps play an active role both in interior and in the back façade, on which we kept a big round window. There is an ingress for artworks on this façade, which can lead both to storage and to big elevator that serve all exhibition floors. The lecture room is separated from the large exhibition hall with transformable partitions, so they can unify, becoming one big 900 sq. m. exhibition hall The theatre/cinema is equipped with all necessary rooms (staff, stage box, technical) but also can be used as a concert hall. In that case, the audience can enjoy the view of the park. The audience of the lecture room, one story below, have the same possibility.

Materials and site improvement: As main materials of the building and hardscape, we chose semitransparent glass, local stone, exposed concrete and green surfaces. The open-air terraces are an important part of site improvement, and serve both park and restaurant.

The seismic resistance will be increased by inserting rhythmical shear walls in both directions and reinforcing of existing structural elements.