In my student years, I used to shop from the market located inside this building. Back then, I did not know anything about it, but I liked the building, which in my eyes was a big ship.
In recent years, when I saw a photo of this edifice from the ’70s I really felt sorry for it. The building looked the same from the outside, yet it was not surrounded with arbitrarily constructed buildings and stalls. There was enough space around it to let spectators notice its grandeur.
Today, the building is suffocated by these chaotic constructions. But that doesn’t prevent it from being included in the list of most famous Soviet Modernist buildings. Designed by the architects Hrach Poghosyan, Artur Tarkhanyan and Spartak Khachikyan, this building was their second collaborative project. When they learned that a new cinema house was going to be constructed in that place they proposed this building project which, being totally innovative, was approved. The cinema house which they wanted to call Ararat was eventually named Rossia and inaugurated in 1974. It is rumored that Soviet Moscow did not give the permission to construct the new cinema house and eventually they agreed with one condition: that it must be named Rossia.
By the way, in 2012 there was an exhibition in Vienna followed by the 19th Vienna Architecture Congress dedicated to Soviet modernism and this building was exhibited and discussed among 30 Armenian buildings. So if you’re interested in architecture, don’t miss your chance to see this masterpiece.