The Capital of Desires

Pavilion of Republic of Armenia at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

Armenian history of the last two centuries was tightly interconnected with the project of (re)-building a nation. Architects and urban planners played a central role in this project. Their built and un-built visions have been driving the collective imagination and the associated aesthetic, social and political desires ever since. The shape of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, provides the spatial master narrative for reading the tensions and contradictions that derived from the dreams of a new Armenia. It tells a unique story, almost without comparison in the 20th century: the story of three conflicting national Modernisms. It is as if the wish for a new self-defined social order and reality had to cope with the hidden and unfulfilled promises of an architectural imaginary, expressed by conflicting formal languages. Thus, and not only for architects, Yerevan is: The Capital of Desires

Curators of the Project:
Ruben Arevshatyan, Georg Schöllhammer

Johannes Porsch

Representative of the Commissioner:
Vartan Karapetian

Project Coordinator:
Nina Haryan

Graphic Design:
Markus Weisbeck (Concept), Nora Galfayan

In cooperation with / Sweet Sixties

7 June – 23 November 2014

Palazzo Zenobio, Collegio Armeno Moorat Raphael, Dorsoduro 2596

Opening hours
10 am - 6 pm
Closed on Mondays


Conference by Armenian Pavilion at 14th Venice Biennale of Architecture / "Meetings on Architecture"

21-22 October, 2014
13-17.00 h

Venice Biennale of Architecture


21 October / Tuesday

1 panel / Soviet Modernism. Historical and Paradigmatic Shifts
13.00 Georg Schöllhammer, Vienna
13.30 Vladimir Paperny, Los Angeles / Moscow
14.00 Felix Novikov, Rochester / Moscow
14.30-15.00 Coffee Break

2 panel / Nationalizing Modernities
15.00 Ruben Arevshatyan, Yerevan
15.30 Marija Drėmaitė, Vilnius
16.00 Boris Chukhovich, Montreal / Tashkent
16.30-17.00 Discussion

22 October / Wednesday

1 panel / From Utopia to Dystopia
13.00 Olga Kazakova, Moscow
13.30 Oleksiy Radynski, Kiev
14.00 Wolfgang Kil, Berlin
14.30-15.00 Coffee Break

2 panel / Parallel Modernities
15.00 Philipp Meuser, Berlin
15.30 Dubravka Sekulic, Belgrade
16.00 Yehuda Safran, New York
16.30-17.00 Discussion

Conference: Local Modernities. National Architecture and International Style in the Soviet Empire post 1953

Captial_of_Desires.pdf (pdf, 3.8 mb)


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