This past spring, five teams of architects started working on competing designs for a very unique new facility. They were asked to imagine the 4,000 square meter future home of TUMO Studios, TUMO’s new initiative focused on the creation of analog products. The architects’ brief was ambitious: Create an iconic facility at the the border of Tumanyan Park, nestled at the foot of the historic Kievyan bridge. Design it to become an efficient learning hub and the home of a bustling community of designers, artisans and master craftspeople working at the leading edge of contemporary design trends. But that wasn’t all. The center, located on the very steep periphery of the park would need to become its natural extension, accessible to the public and friendly to the environment.
The winning entry by PLATFORM was an instant favorite. Its modular studios and workshops are clustered around a shared public space, and its multilevel roofs double as green spaces directly accessible from the park. Naturally adapting to the site’s topography and featuring ample north-facing windows, the design makes full use of passive climate control solutions, minimizing both carbon footprint and maintenance costs.
But the other competition entries were also highly creative and expertly designed solutions. Storaket Architectural Studio’s design was based on a playful scheme made up entirely of shipping containers. With reduced construction cost and modular layouts, the Storaket design lent itself to future expansion and even satellite facilities in the form of movable containers.
NORA is a team of three young architects from Japan, Iran and the Netherlands. Their elegant design placed the TUMO Studios workshops and studio spaces in a ring around a shared courtyard. Like the previous two solutions, this design also kept a low profile, taking full advantage of the site’s topography. NORA’s proposal was done in partnership with SLA for landscape design, Terrell for engineering and Tegmark for visuals.
The solution by the local architecture firm ARCHcoop consisted of a tall volume echoing the vertical reach of Kievyan bridge, combined with horizontal spaces where most of the project’s functional areas would be located. Rather than follow the site’s natural slope, the ARCHcoop project stood in contrast to it, minimizing the center’s construction footprint.
Ghouyoum Architecture and Design submitted another solution based on prominent vertical elements. This design consisted of two buildings separated by a central, open-air corridor that featured an industrial crane. It gracefully integrated the park’s circulation patterns into the facility, providing opportunities for the public to interact with the TUMO Studios community.
Construction of the facility will begin in the spring of 2018. When this new home of TUMO Studios opens its door two years from now, we hope it will become an important destination for Armenia’s design community, and that it will help make Yerevan one of the world’s emerging design hubs.