The Blessed Walls Pavilion

The Blessed Walls Pavilion
This is an initiative project that tries to turn the ruins of a church into a usable art pavilion space.

Tarberak Architectural Studio
Yerevan, Armenia
Team members
Karen Berberyan
Armen Hakobyan
Ani Hovhannisyan
Milena Kerobyan
Vardan Kilichyan
Lilit Simonyan
Gnel Yeghiazaryan
Field of work
Architecture, Design, Urban planning, Landscape architecture
Project category
Public space
Project submitted

TarberAK* is an architectural firm founded in Yerevan, Armenia in 2019 by two architects (Karen Berberyan, Armen Hakobyan).
We are a fast-growing, energetic team with experience in Armenia and abroad.
We believe in the social role of architecture as it traverses every field of human activity.
We feel responsible to do it well.
We strive to do conceptual architecture.
Our projects vary in scale: urban projects, buildings, interiors.
We start every project with questioning.
We question sites, contexts, programs, sometimes even clients. We like clients.
We also do a lot of initiative projects without a client.
We experiment, break rules, debate, and that creates real value and defines us.
We often speak of "honest architecture", though oddly, it acquires a new meaning every time.
We write about architecture.
We teach architecture, however impossible it may be.
We created the NPATAK Foundation for alternative architectural education.
We care much about the environment we live in.
We care about the nature and about the human impact on our planet.

This project absorbs a derelict structure in Central Dilijan that was conceived decades ago as a church, but never built up beyond its disconnected, fragmentary blessed walls. Vertical panels of raw concrete outline two overlapping squares rotated at 45 degrees to each other, but stand apart like an odd soviet-time Stonehenge.
Instead of demolishing the unfinished building, the proposal seeks to salvage it and breathe new life into it as an exhibition pavilion, diversifying and revitalizing the main city park. The inspiration behind the concept comes from two main influences: the upcoming Aurora International Forum in Dilijan and the video art and exhibition materials on Grigor Narekatsi, an Armenian poet and theologian. The installation within the pavilion will combine hand-drawn canvases that integrate human figures with Narekatsi texts, representing the interconnectedness of people with written words and vice versa.

To enhance the spiritual character of the pavilion, a permanent centerpiece will be added - a mirror-like cubical box made of highly polished steel. The box will reflect the surrounding walls and nature through openings, signifying purity, compassion, and selflessness. This centerpiece will be used to display and protect valuable art pieces, further contributing to the spiritual ambiance of the pavilion.

The pavilion will be adaptable for hosting various art installations and exhibitions, with a focus on Narekatsi for its opening exhibition. It will serve as a platform for young artists to present and test their ideas, fostering creativity and artistic expression. The proximity of the site to the Dilijan Visiting Center offers advantages for managing and maintaining the pavilion, as well as promoting its operation and visibility, thereby enhancing the appeal of Dilijan as a cultural destination.