Spiritual Rebirth

AGBU Yerevan’s New Home Inaugurated

The new complex incorporates the latest green technologies in its state-of-the-art facility

On Saturday, April 4, the new AGBU Yerevan Building opened amid fanfare surrounding the 88th AGBU General Assembly. The event drew AGBU leadership and delegates from across the diaspora as well as Armenian dignitaries, most notably President Serzh Sargsyan, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians; Mayor of Yerevan Taron Margaryan; United States Ambassador to Armenia Richard M. Mills, Jr.; and many cabinet members and government officials. 

The opening marks a milestone in the history of the organization: “[AGBU] began in 1906 in Cairo and since then, we have moved from Cairo to Alexandria, Aleppo to Damascus, to Beirut, Zahlé, Jordan, France, the Americas and Australia, but today we return to our home—Armenia,” said President Setrakian.

The 65,000 square-foot building is a state-of-the-art facility that incorporates the latest green technologies, such as thermal insulation and photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Modern glass features contrast against the original façade, allowing abundant natural light to create a comfortable and inspiring work environment. The building will serve as the headquarters of AGBU Armenia’s programs and includes a large lecture hall for film screenings, readings, lectures and other public events and innovative interior design that unites traditional and contemporary elements. AGBU will share the building with various progressive institutions and non-profits, contributing to the spirit of innovation and collaboration.

The building was designed by architect and AGBU Central Board member Aris Atamian, assisted by architect Narek Sargsyan from Amenia. The interior was designed by Storaket, an architecture studio based in Yerevan. The collaboration has proved unique and inspired. “[Through the design of the building] we wanted to open the early twentieth century façade like a curtain to reveal the twenty-first century behind it,” said Atamian. The façade of the building exemplifies the union of past and present.

Along with the modern glass design, the stone façade of the building is the reconstruction of and pays tribute to the old Parliament building (state Duma), which once stood at a nearby location from 1906 to 2000.

AGBU Yerevan Building was made possible thanks to a generous donation by AGBU benefactor and Council of Trustees member Nazar Nazarian and his wife Artemis. After the blessing ceremony presided over by H.H. Karekin II, Seta Nazarian—the daughter of the benefactors—spoke on behalf of the family: “This occasion reminds us that we have not only survived, but we now strive to thrive for excellence in all that we do as an organization and as a nation,” she noted.

The AGBU Yerevan Building will allow for the expansion of the organization’s cultural, educational and humanitarian programs in Armenia. AGBU Central Board Member and Chairman of the Construction Committee Vasken Yacoubian was responsible for the construction project management: “Having this building is very significant for our organization, especially knowing that we have always stood alongside our nation, regardless of the regime in power. We were here after independence, during Soviet times and even before that. Now finally, twenty-four years later, we have our own building which will allow our organization to strengthen our collaborative work in Armenia.” 

Originally published in the 2015-09-01​ issue of AGBU Magazine. Archived content may appear distorted on your screen. end character

About the AGBU Magazine

AGBU Magazine is of the most widely circulated English language Armenian magazines in the world, available in print and digital format. Each issue delivers insights and perspective on subjects and themes relating to the Armenian world, accompanied by original photography, exclusive high-profile interviews, fun facts and more.