Phantom luxury of Yerevan04.09.2012 | 20:47
New blocks, consisting of the elite and therefore very expensive homes, can be seen in every post-Soviet capital. In Yerevan, on the North Avenue, there is such a block. Modern monumental skyscrapers built here decorate the capital of Armenia for the last few years. However, after dusk the prospectus view is depressing. No need to think long to realize that people do not live here.
The modern architectural appearance of Yerevan is rather doubtful. But they little change the situation. Armenia continues to lose shape and mood, inherent in previous decades. To visually imagine this, it is enough to climb on the Monument and look at the city from a bird's eye view.
The city began to grow up. This is not just ugly, but also dangerous. Yerevan is located in a seismically active area, and if previously in the city there were no high-rise buildings at least for safety reasons, this is no obstacle any more.
Perhaps the most heated debate revolved around the North Avenue, located in the heart of the city. Street, flanked on both sides by massive bulky structures, immediately displeased the locals. It is like a alien particle in the human body, they say. The construction of the block of the city has brought a lot of troubles, not only in terms of aesthetics. To build a new building, it was necessary to destroy the old ones. Of course, no one was going to give them apartment in new buildings, and thus numerous complaints and scarce pickets began. As a result - a disproportionate financial compensation or change of residence to the residential district.
As for the architectural component, you do not need to be an expert in a particular Armenian architecture to immediately detect disparity between the old and new styles. In the evening, North Avenue is like a dead city: starting from 6 pm it is crowded, and closer to midnight it becomes empty. The houses are almost without the light, since no one lives there.
Business plan of the North Avenue suffers fiasco. As we were assured in one of Yerevan real estate agencies, the apartments cannot be sold here. "At the moment, luxury estate is not in demand, not even speaking about the apartments on the North Avenue. It's very hard to sell them".
The main reason is their fantastic price: square meter costs about $ 3,500. Given the fact that the apartments are quite large, three-room apartment will cost about half a million dollars. Only few people in Armenia have such money, that's why the North Avenue remains a construction site where the works are completed, but the houses are still not for sale. And compared to other elite housing prices they differ almost in half. For example, the average cost of a square meter at a very prestigious Tumanyan Street is about $ 1,500.
Today the Northern Avenue in Yerevan is more popular as a place for prestigious restaurants and shops. There are more and more of them. The lion's share of visitors - these are foreign tourists; that's why the staff is fluent in English and Russian. Fortunately, they do not forget the native Armenian.
All would be nothing, if the prospect would have pleased the Yerevan residents. However, according to our survey, the majority does not recognize the new block a model for urban planning. They day as follows: this all is simply alien for Yerevan. One of our interviewees complained that the houses were mediocre; such structures can be found in many European cities. "I look at the North Avenue with a great pain, since Tumanyan designed so that there would not have been a single building higher than the Opera House". "Look, there is not a single tree, here is nothing to breathe", another passerby complains.
However, there are those who love the new block, but they are in the minority. "There were houses with inhuman conditions; it was impossible to live there. They (new houses) are very good; I think everything is ok", happy Northern Avenue local says.
Whatever it was, the North Avenue has become a part of Yerevan. Empty apartments, deserted backyards, empty courtyards and windows. It's hard now to imagine Yerevan without all of this. North Avenue is like a good example of how not to treat your own city.