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Government Building History

History of the Government Building ("Government House")

It is situated on the Republic Square. The author is Academician Alexander Tamanian, People's Architect of the Armenian SSR (1878-1936).

First, the North-West part of the present building was conceived and built as a separate building for the Armenian People's Commissariat, the construction of which completed in 1929.

In 1932-1936, the complex of a whole district adjacent to the Government House was designed at the same site, which harmoniously incorporated the building of the Armenian People's Commissariat. In accordance with that drawing, a taller cylinder-like volume was due to be erected in the central part of the building with irregular pentagon shaping - in the courtyard - to serve as a corridor linking different parts of the complex. From a city planning viewpoint, along with the People's House (the Opera House), it was originally intended to become the axis of the Northern Avenue under design. Neverthless, the construction was suspended in 1941, and the drawings of the Northern and Eastern sections of the complex were never brought to life.

The construction of the Government House was taken up and finished by Gevorg Tamanian, the author's son, who introduced some modifications by removing the central highly-situated volume and adding an extended Assembly Hall on the Eastern side.

The Government House was the first one built on the central oval-shaped public square under the 1924 General Plan and, which thereby determined the height, the horizontal break-ups, the scale, the rhythmical pattern and stylistic features of the buildings erected subsequently.

The principle underlying the whole conception of the building is quite simple: from a functional viewpoint, it is based on expediency considerations: office rooms situated on both sides of the central pivotal corridors in full harmony with the Big and the Small Assembly Halls, foyers and staircases. The design of the front parts is different, in line with the role assigned to them under urban development considerations. The curve-shaped main front facing the public square is developed by a rhytmical pattern of 5 arches resting on monumental colon bunches over which the belt of an open colonnade runs. On the northern side, it adjoins the tower crowned with a rectangular rotunda. The design of the square-side front parts is simpler and more temperate though the difference does not imply a contradiction. Owing to gradual and smooth angular passages, the whole design of the structure is perceived as an harmonious integrity. Elements of Medieval Armenian architecture and monumental sculpture were used by the author of decorative designs (Tekor, Dvin).

The building is made of rose felzit-based tufe resting on a basalt-made ground anchor.

In 1942, Alexander Tamanian was conferred upon a Soviet State Award for the design of the Government House and the authors of the complex of the Republic Square were awarded upon Armenian SSR State Awards.

 

Plan of the Building

 

The Building in Photos