On Wednesday, October 17, AGBU Delegates, in Yerevan for AGBU’s 87th General Assembly, visited the construction site of the new AGBU Building in the heart of downtown Yerevan. His Holiness Karekin II and Yerevan Mayor Taron Margarian were special guests. Deputy Mayor and Chief Architect of Yerevan Narek Sargsyan accompanied the Mayor.

In his welcoming remarks, AGBU President Berge Setrakian stated, “This building will further cement AGBU’s roots in the soil of our homeland and strengthen Armenia-Diaspora ties.” He invited Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian to provide background information on the new building project and its historical relevance. Yacoubian also expressed thanks to key individuals who have made this project a reality. He noted that a great debt of gratitude and thanks are owed to AGBU Council of Trustee Member Nazar Nazarian and his wife Artemis for their generous contributions in making this building a possibility.

Yacoubian expressed thanks to the government of Armenia and the Yerevan Municipality in facilitating AGBU’s realization of this project. Special thanks were also expressed to Concept Designer / Architectural Advisor and AGBU Central Board Member Mr. Aris Adamian, a dedicated member of the team, who continues to generously offer his time and contributions to the planning and construction phases. Finally, thanks were expressed to the Narek Sargsyan Architectural Studio and Horizon-95 Construction Company. His Holiness Karekin II offered a prayer for the success of the project. Mayor Margarian, in his remarks, praised AGBU’s many projects, and welcomed this latest initiative. This building will house AGBU headquarters in Armenia, and will allow the expansion of AGBU’s educational, cultural, humanitarian and youth programs and new initiatives. It will provide motivation and much-needed resources and will create a new hub for cultural events. With modern facilities, fully-equipped office space, conference and exhibition halls, a cafeteria, and two underground levels of parking, the building will be one of the premiere office sites in Armenia.

The building is expected to be completed in early 2014. Contemporary Armenian architectural methods will be used to develop the 5-story, 6,800 square meter building that will be built on approximately 1,380 square meters of land. Western construction technologies, including the placement of an anti-vibration layer underneath the main foundation of the building, will reduce noise and vibrations from the nearby underground metro. This expertise has been successfully utilized in Armenia. In addition, thermally insulated facades (stone and glass), and efficient, low-consumption systems will contribute to creating an environmentally friendly building. The historical relevance of this modern building comes from the fact that part of its façade will be an identical replica of Erivan Municipality’s Duma (council) building built back in 1906 on Dajarayin Square (now Shahumian Square).

The building, along with a few other adjacent buildings, was torn down in 2000 to make way for the present-day Congress Hotel. The stones of this historical building were preserved and numbered for accurate reproduction. Poster-size pictures, obtained from the National State Archives, were displayed during Wednesday’s visit, showing what the building and neighborhood looked like in the last century. Architectural renderings of the new building and area were also displayed allowing guests to imagine what the building will look like when completed. A running slide show provided guests the opportunity to view the construction phases. Central Board Member Vasken Yacoubian remarked, “This building not only is a symbol and expression of our unending dedication towards our fatherland, but also of our forward-looking new initiatives and wide-spread activities, which, in effect, express AGBU’s 87th General Assembly slogan: Engaging the Future.”

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