The Soviet Union had a habit of idealising certain professions deemed ‘respectable’ of the working proletariat. Engineers, architects, composers and academics were often honoured with murals, awards, and even dedicated apartment buildings––almost like a Soviet WeWork/WeLive setup.
One such dedicated structure is known as the “Artist’s Building”. This Brezhnev-era apartment tower is easy to miss on Kochar street since, at first glance, it looks like so many other nondescript prefab concrete Kommunalkas of the era. But a closer look reveals unique loft-style studio/apartment setups aimed at allowing carpenters, sculptors and painters to practice their craft in a purpose-built space. These double-story studios are all angled at 45′ from the building’s structure to maximize views of Mount Ararat and Mount Arakadz from their large windows.
While many of the artists still reside there to this day, and their studios are worth visiting, this old guard is now sharing the space with several architecture studios, creative agencies and tech startups too.
Full disclosure, I actually work here to, and what I really love about it is the community. It feels like a Berlin squatter community in the heart of Yerevan