June 25
Show news feed

British architects are leading international calls for the now-abandoned Zvartnots airport in Armenia to be saved from the wrecking ball, the Daily Mail reported.

It looks like a monolithic space-city straight out of science fiction, but in reality it was one of the jewels in the Soviet crown. 

After it was built in the 1970s, more than 2,500 passengers crowded through the country's most modern airport terminal every hour.

Leading British architect Tim Flynn says the airport is an outstanding piece of architecture. His London-based international practice has had an office in Yerevan for 14 years.

And he hopes that the new, more democratic government in Armenia which came to power after May's Velvet Revolution will decide Zvartnots is a historical building worth preserving. And yet he warns the longer it's left to crumble away, the chances of saving it diminish.

'I realise the new prime minister has a lot on his plate, but I hope his conscience will lead to a change of plan. Whatever you think of the old Soviet Union, the buildings from this period were extraordinary and adventurous, a piece of history.'

The owners want to demolish more of the old airport to make way for a multi-million pound expansion of the new international terminal. But they are being fought by the daughter of the original airport architect. Anahit Tarkhanyan believes the airport still has huge potential and that many don't realise what they're giving up.  She says land-locked Armenia could benefit from a new renovated airport which could become the centre of a network of regional airports. Now Anahit is running for mayor of Yerevan, with a mission to fight the demolition.

This text available in   Հայերեն