ITHAKA - Design & Architecture

ITHAKA - Design & Architecture

Moscow, RU


Glass in architecture

By aniferrer
Sep 21, '12 12:55 PM EST


The second Russian competition
«Projects» section
«The best decisions of interiors and elements of buildings» - nominee



Armenian St. Targmanchats (Holy Translators) Church in Yerevan

Architects: Telemak Ananyan, Gohar Isakhanyan, Hayk Martirosyan
Project company: «Ithaka - Architecture & design»



Moscow 2012




 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world
(John 9:5)

"Learn the wisdom and guidance, to know the act of genius" - the first sentence from the Holy Bible, translated by Mesrop Mashtots and written down in Armenian alphabet.
The verbs "to learn" and "to know" (synonymous to study, to be educated, to be enlighten) - hence the desire to create a didactic architecture.

This project was created within frames of a competition of an architectural concept of St. Targmanchats church in "AYB" educational complex in Yerevan. 


According to the requirements of the competition, the church from one hand must contain the idea of Targmanchats holiday and from the other hand to match with the forms and appearance to the shapes of Armenian Church which have centuries long history.


Feast of “Targmanchats” (of a translator) is a tribute of the Armenian people and culture to the Armenian alphabet (also the day of a teacher, of science and education). In the Armenian Church, this day is dedicated to the remarkable people, who adopted the Armenian alphabet.



The architecture of the temple has both sacred and didactic value. This allows on a vivid example to understand the laws of the timing and calendar, to understand the nature and the universe and the role of Christianity in this matter.

  Master plan




 A conical, round in plan, four-apse cross-domed church is proposed, which is traditional Armenian composition. The temple has eight chapels, one on each side of four apses.

West view South view

In contrast to the common two-tier Armenian churches, the proposed three-tier concept that more closely matches the idea of "House of the Divine Trinity," which was wonderfully realized in the architectural conception of the Temple of Vigil Forces in Zvartnots by Catholicos St. Nerses Shinarar (the Builder [7thcentury]).


East view North view



                                                                                                             North-West view


“Then they will see the Son of a Man coming in clouds with great power and glory”
(Matthew 13:26)




From the three sides of the world and the three tiers of the temple, the windows with the desired angle of inclination provide a sunbeam falling on the altar at any time of year and day.


Schematic section - from the three sides of the world and the three tiers of the temple, the windows with the desired angle of inclination provide a sunbeam falling on the altar at any time of year and day.

Window openings of the first tier provides a phenomenon of the sun in winter, and from the east - in all seasons. The windows of the second tier - in fall and spring, and the third openings - in the summer when the sun is high above the firmament ( when days are long and nights and shadows are short).

                                                                                                                                                                                       Window detail


 In a separate window openings triangular glass prisms are fitted, which refract the light and create an effect of dispersion of the light beam in the interior of the church. Light as a bright and lively palette is poured into the interior of the church.




    Church interior is filled with light with vibrant colors palette.                                                                                                     Axonometric section




This effect creates a dynamic interior of the temple, an architectural interactive game. Filled with vibrant colors, spectral interior creates a "divine palette" of coloring on the walls and the apse of the church.

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