Dilijan, Armenia

The idea of a public art intervention for Dilijan came after a visit to the region where Nadim Karam was invited to give a talk on his public art projects to the students of UWC Dilijan.
The office thus developed a public art proposal that began with a research on the geography, history and culture of Armenia, with a focus on Dilijan and its importance within the context of the country. The basis of our approach came from the vision behind Initiatives for the Development of Armenia (IDeA)- founded by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend- and Tim Flynn Architects (TFA) master plan for Naberjnaya District, Dilijan.

Inspired by a selection of re-occurring symbols, forms and shapes (such as the wheel of eternity, the Armenian ancient petroglyphs, khatchkars, Dilijan’s monasteries etc), we established the core concept and design of Dilijan Stories. The sculptures along the river, collectively called the Archaic Procession, speak of the march of civilizations; a linear progression through time of humanity, flora, fauna and cultures in a language understood by all. From the procession branches out different chapters; the Wheels of Eternity is the town gateway, the Astronomer’s Bridge connects the river banks, the Cloud in Clouds offers elevated viewing platforms, and the enclosed Story Catcher is a contemplative space for people to gather in. The chapters feed into Contemporary Labyrinths, placed within Dilijan Natural Park; meditative pavilions that offer spaces to engage, listen and reflect.