The concept of reconstruction of the Center for contemporary experimental art, NPAK in Yerevan is inspired by the main symbol of Armenia – the sign of Arevakhach, which is often called the Armenian symbol of eternity. We are integrating curved elements into the structure of the center by the spiral flow of Arevakhach. Thus, the Museum has several atriums, which make the space free and at the same time consolidated by vertical communications.
We delicately intervened in the architecture, added relief to the cladding of the building, so the stone facade got an interesting texture. We freed the first floor from the cladding and made glazing, so part of the interior space became open to light and people's eyes. We deliberately took the path of the least intervention in the existing building, did not create dominant objects over the existing volume, which is also dictated by the financial side of the project – modern reconstruction is possible within a reasonable budget.
Above the lobby with the ticket office there is a high atrium that unites all levels of NPAK. Thus, the space of the center became open for review; visitors can fully experience its program fullness. Bridges and stairs provide a variety of scenarios for visitors. A sculptural spiral staircase in the North-Western part of the building leads to the exhibition grounds. Office premises and administrative offices are located on the lower level.
The main art-production and educational block occupies the territory of the former main exhibition hall. It is a flexible multi-level space with an open area for workshops and rented premises for workplaces, lectures and conferences. The large screen in front of the theatre is visible from all three levels of the center. The reading hall of the research archive on the ground floor is illuminated by natural light.
Colors reflect the identity of the country and harmoniously blend into the atmosphere of NPAK. We set ourselves the task of creating a real cultural center with a variety of use scenarios, so we provided such activities as, for example, fashion show, movie nights, lectures on contemporary art and topical subjects, coworking for people engaged in the field of art.
The flow of visitors is divided into two levels – accessible without buying a ticket – a cafe, a bookstore, open expositions – they can be visited directly from the street, and through the main entrance at the garden visitors get to paid exhibitions. So we opened the space of the center, integrated it into the urban space and created an opportunity to touch the art for everyone.