While on our recent trip to Yerevan, we had the pleasure of interviewing architect and designer Lusine Baghdadaryan. Lusine is the co-founder of A&L Architectural Studio together with Aram Shahoyan, and they design everything from stunning residential interiors to remarkable retail designs. The latest project they worked on was a shoe store design for Munich, where the interview took place. Here’s a little more about the inspiration for the design and more of the up-and-coming projects A&L Architecture is working on.
Soviet Inspired Design
In Yerevan, many of the buildings scattered around the city are that of modernist architecture. This Soviet-style of public buildings, residential towers, and industrial complexes now has deep ties with the history and culture of Armenia’s capital. For some Soviet architecture is cherished, for others, it’s considered an eyesore.
This Soviet architecture played a part in A&L’s design of the store. Munich itself resides in an old Soviet factory “Motor Yerevan”. The building is long and narrow with high, industrial ceilings. While bringing along several challenges to the design process, Lusine and Aram use the building’s unique shape and original architecture in their favor. Pairing the original features with sleek and modern shelving with mesh metal adds an air of modernism. This works in parallel with Munich’s branding, being regarded as a fashionable and modern company.
The shoe store is not all that resides in Motor Yerevan. The entire building is in the process of turning into an incubator hub for innovative companies. Once transformed, it will house open office spaces and live music events. Many of the old Soviet buildings in the city are currently being renovated and seeing a new lease of life. For example, opposite Munich Shoes lies an abandoned Soviet cinema Rossiya which is one of the remaining Brutalist gems in the city. Unfortunately from the 1990s to today, it functions as a commercial and shopping center and has been transformed without respect for the unique cultural heritage. Which is why efforts of conservation such as at Motor Yerevan by its owner and A&L Architectural Studio are of tremendous importance.
Innovative Storage Solutions
Another part of the design of Munich Shoes that Lusine is passionate about is the innovative storage solutions implemented. Rather than having a dark and dingy storage unit in the basement or the back of the shop, the team at A&L Architecture has hidden the stock in plain sight. Behind each shoe on display, a push latch drawer holds some of the most common sizes. By doing so, their team has reinvented what shoe shop storage looks like. This is highly functional as staff can get the customers their shoes in seconds, while also bringing a contemporary vibe. This intelligent solution fits with the brand’s trendy and in-the-know identity.
Future Design Projects
Alongside an insight into this recent work, Lusine shared with us two exciting projects that A&L Architects are currently working on. The first project is the brand new construction of a condo building which in our opinion has clear references to Soviet and Brutalist architecture. As with the Munich store, the designers will likely build on the original architecture that’s illustrative of the city’s past with a modern twist.
The second project is a corporate headquarters for a software company. The client has asked the team for a modernistic design that mirrors their approach to work. As a result, the space is to include plenty of room for entertainment. It will also include a swimming pool, gym, supermarket, and restaurant on site. With a contemporary style, the design team is likely to use monochrome tones and plenty of glass and metal. These are materials that A&L Architects incorporate into many of their designs. The building will also be energy-saving thanks to roof wind generators, further insinuating a futuristic vibe.
Contact details for A&L Architecture are:
A&L Architecture, Nairi Zaryan 74B, Yerevan, Armenia.
+37495068410 / firstname.lastname@example.org