Lace Hill: The Man-Made Ararat

Lace Hill

Lace Hill (2)

A fascinating new building project in Armenia’s capital Yerevan called Lace Hill that seeks to create a giant man-made mountain, but not only. The project designed by a Birmingham, Alabama (USA) based architectural company Forrest Fulton Archtects seeks to create a fascinating green and sustainable building project that will house entertainment centers and parks with its own eco-system while incorporating traditional Armenian architectural themes. Honestly looking at the design I do not yet know what to make of it. Theoretically it sounds interesting and would definitely put Yerevan on the map as far as tourism is concerned, but how and who would finance this project is an enigma wrapped in mystery, given the state of Armenian economy.

Here are some descriptions of the project from the firm’s website:

To create a new, firmly rooted architecture-urbanism-landscape, the project morphs the common urban element of Yerevan, the superblock, to the site, a truncated hill along the natural amphitheater of the Yerevan. This act extends the amphitheater and completes the hill, creating more capacity or “seats” for the viewing of Yerevan and Mt. Ararat, the eternal icon of Armenia. Native plants irrigated with recycled gray water cover the hill. Intricate perforations recalling traditional Armenian lace needlework provide terraced exterior space, natural ventilation, and amazing views for the promenade, hotel rooms, residences, and office space.

Unlike a singular object tower that one simply views from the city below, the lacy, living hill seduces visitors inside to a promenade and a succession of tower-voids.  Tower-voids act as dramatic cooling towers in Yerevan’s semi-arid climate. As one moves toward the cooler center, the hill opens to the sky. With the feel of a cathedral or basilica in size and light, pools and tree-topped hills fill these flowing-nodal public spaces. These are spatial monuments to Armenia, carved from the hill like the ancient Armenian Monastery of Gerhard.

Lace Hill over Yerevan

Lace Hill not only conserves its own resources within, but also gives back to Yerevan, passively cooling portions of Yerevan during the summer. As north breezes pass over the tower-voids’ ponds, the project acts as a giant evaporative cooling mechanism for the semi-arid city below. Window walls set deep within the terraces shade summer sun. Planted surfaces absorb solar heat, filter air and water-borne toxins, and supports insect and animal life. Geothermal wells and radiant floors efficiently heat and cool spaces. Recycled gray water irrigates agriculture and hill plantings. The lace perforated surface ventilates the hill. The major structure is found in the perforated concrete exterior surfaces, allowing for columnless and beamless flexible spaces. Undulation of the surfaces form structurally efficient vaults and arches while creating a variety of views and maximizing area.” Read More>>>

Yerevan, Armenia

Instead of a towering Iconic image, disconnected from historic, horizontal Yerevan, Lace Hill stitches the adjacent city and landscape together to support a holistic, ultra-green lifestyle, somewhere between rural hillside living and dense cultured urbanity.  The 85,000 square meter (900,000 sf) proposal is a new model of development for Yerevan and Armenia that supports a resilient, high-value spatial fabric, dense with overlapping natural and urban phenomenon.

To create a new, firmly rooted architecture-urbanism-landscape, the project morphs the common urban element of Yerevan, the superblock, to the site, a truncated hill along the natural amphitheater of the Yerevan. This act extends the amphitheater and completes the hill, creating more capacity or “seats” for the viewing of Yerevan and Mt. Ararat, the eternal icon of Armenia. Native plants irrigated with recycled gray water cover the hill. Intricate perforations recalling traditional Armenian lace needlework provide terraced exterior space, natural ventilation, and amazing views for the promenade, hotel rooms, residences, and office space.

Unlike a singular object tower that one simply views from the city below, the lacy, living hill seduces visitors inside to a promenade and a succession of tower-voids.  Tower-voids act as dramatic cooling towers in Yerevan’s semi-arid climate. As one moves toward the cooler center, the hill opens to the sky. With the feel of a cathedral or basilica in size and light, pools and tree-topped hills fill these flowing-nodal public spaces. These are spatial monuments to Armenia, carved from the hill like the ancient Armenian Monastery of Gerhard.

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  1. Interesting. At first I thought it was an upside-down, green strawberry. It would definitely draw a lot of attention.

  2. green strawberry eh? i guess it sort of looks like it doesn’t it? an interesting concept, though.

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