Vernacular Architecture and the Historic Houses of Gyumri, Armenia (by Jane Britt Greenwood)

Date: 11 July 2011
Location: Aga Khan Humanities Project (AKHP), Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The aim of this talk is to document the historic houses of the Kumayri Historic District in order to identify and develop an Armenian “pattern language.” This architecturally based language can then be used by architects, developers, and builders as a way to preserve Armenian cultural identity in modern Armenian architecture. The findings show that the residential vernacular architecture constructed between 1840 and 1920 in Gyumri, Armenia is inherently sustainable as evidenced by the ability of these structures to survive two earthquakes (1926 and 1988), and by the passive design strategies employed for energy efficiency. Primary source of this research is fieldwork (on-site measuring and photography), gathering oral histories, and researching local and national archives for information on the history and architecture of the city of Gyumri which was known as Aleksandropol (1840 – 1920).

Jane Britt GreenwoodBiography
Jane Britt Greenwood, AIA is an Associate Professor and Fulbright Scholar at School of Architecture, College of Architecture, Art, and Design, Mississippi State University. Dr. Greenwood also teaches at Yerevan State University of Architecture and Construction [Yerevan, Armenia] at the Faculty of Architecture as Fulbright Scholar. Her research interest also evolves around investigating the underlying political, environmental, and/or architectural factors responsible for the successes and/or failures of the current “preserve museum” model, and propose a new model that more realistically responds to current and future preservation trends in Armenia.

Some of her publications include “Facts Around the World: Armenia.” Redlands Daily Facts, “Preserving Architectural Memory.” The Armenian Weekly, 2007, “New Housing Designs Based on Traditional Mississippi Architecture.” forum journal: The Journal of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Spring 2000 among many others.

The presentation will be conducted in English. Russian translation will be provided upon prior request.

University of Central Asia, Room 101, 47a Druzhba Narodov, Dushanbe, Tajikistan

Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. Please indicate if you require Russian translation.

* The views presented in this lecture are those of the presenter and not necessarily those of the University of Central Asia or any of its staff.

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