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Thursday, 29 October 2009

Yerevan diaries: Cascade - Cafesjian Centre for the Arts


After 2 years delay, with construction works still going on as per these pictures I took a month ago, Cafesjian Centre for the Arts (Yerevan MoMA) will have its Grand Opening on 8 Nov (fireworks display 7 Nov). Cascade has always been a favourite place for Yerevantsi and tourists alike. Soon to be opened Yerevan MoMA will make the place even more definite must see not only in Armenia, but in the whole South Caucasus too.

11 comments:

nazarian said...

I wonder how frustrated Cafesjian gets with sluggish progress and sloppy work in the construction sector there.

Observer said...

Mika jan, nice walk-through and progress report! I didn't know they've progressed this far. The Cascade has been half-constructed for so long, that it feels like a fact of life, that it won't ever be completed! :))

artmika said...

I wish I could be in Yerevan for the opening... Can't wait to see it up and running to its full extent. Always dreamt of having MoMA in Yerevan. Very soon my dream will become a reality :)

Haik said...

It is atterly pointless and useless structure, an example of Soviet megalomania. It is not only costly to build but also hard to maintain. It was an ideal money making scheme for soviet aparatchiks. I call it scar of Yerevan.
If the whole purpose was to link the centre with Komitas or the railway station a well known technology like the good-old funicular would be better with alternative walking paths. Such a technology is used in many places like Salzburg, where the slop is steeper and higher.

artmika said...

Oh, no, Haik. If it's a scar, it's a beautiful scar. Now,when it became a home to the museum of modern arts, it looks even more appropriate, very different, unique, unlike scores of lifeless new buildings on a Northern Avenue. Call me biased, but I am a big fan of Cascade :)

armenianamerica said...

I personally love Cascade, and how it facilitates the late night romantics/groups of friends.

I've watched the project blossom over the last few months, mainly these past few weeks, and I must say, I'm fairly excited for the opening.

The flowers are as green and colorful than ever, the inside has been redone (paint, glass detailing, room renovations), the museum is being prepared, the entire escalator path is functioning (and on pause when no one is using it so as to save electricity), and the entire base of Cascade is just about done (with statues, lights, sculptures, marble details, as well as a finished walking paths and dozens of benches).

All I'm waiting for now is that all the fountains be turned on, and that the top section be finally completed and connected to the main structure!

It took long enough but I'm glad to see the project finally carrying it's weight, completely worth it if you ask me. We need more projects like this, in terms of finally being sped up and being a welcoming area for locals and tourists alike.

Richard said...

Interesting to read the comments now. I remember when the project was first announced several years ago - Cafesjian was criticized for spending so much money on something 'frivolous'. As Mika says, it may have seemed frivolous, but long term this will be an important cultural destination for Yerevan.

The Historian said...

I agree, Yerevan is full of unremarkable architecture that it is a relief to have something so unique- not to mention so well suited in design for its new purpose. I can understand finding it odd, but not a scar. I also can't understand why someone would want to trade such a unique landmark (love it or hate it) for something as unremarkable as a funicular! Why??

artmika said...

Interesting review by the NYT Michael Kimmelman:

Unveiling the Hanging Gardens of Armenia

Christopher said...

the Kimmelman article is very sad....it leave sthe impression of a poor backwards corrupt uncultured country....

artmika said...

Christopher, to be honest, I did not get such an impression re Kimmelmann review.

After reading your comment, I asked some of my Facebook friends on their opinion re this article. Here is what one of my friends (foreigner) had to say:

"I don’t think that the article portrayed Armenia as being backward or uncultured; rather, as a place that has been unlucky in many ways and perhaps in need of some fresh political and economic approaches. The National Museum is a bit of a time warp and there wasn’t anyone else there when we visited either, but it was the same way in Sofia, Bulgaria, when I visited their National Museum as well. Perhaps Kimmelmann would have been better advised to visit the Parajanov and Sarian museums—definitely my favorites!"