While in Armenia, we visit two projects completed by Storaket Architects. This Yerevan design company is founded by two architects, Meroujan and Narbeh. Their creative team specializes in innovative and cutting-edge designs that combine beautiful aesthetics with functionality. The results are stunning projects that serve a true purpose, with a specific focus on educational institutes. They aim to change the mindset of society and make schools fun and enjoyable place that kids love. Here’s a closer look at two impressive projects of theirs we got to visit with them.
The first project we visited was AYB School, with Storaket Architects most recent addition being the C building. This is for the current elementary school and will later also be for middle school students. It joins the two previous buildings A and B, also designed by Storaket Architectural Studio. The trio of buildings was first erected in the Soviet era, with white block-like structures and a cold, harsh feeling. Yet, the architectural team has redefined the building’s design based on a common concept: to challenge traditional Soviet educational stereotypes and create a collaborative learning environment. This philosophy is based on findings that informal education that allows kids to create their own environment is more successful.
In line with this philosophy, the interior of the first floor of the school building has a completely open flow. Off the central walkway are multiple sections, making for a truly innovative take on an educational building. Besides, with a more open design, the school is multifunctional to allow many different learning experiences. We also love that multiple hidden openings connect the interior to the world outside. It floods the place with plenty of natural light. The lower levels of building C are four meters below ground level, and the inclusion of natural light into space is even more impressive. There is a clear priority on connecting the children with nature to profit from its positive mental and physical benefits. We love the approach to sustainability and the moving solar panels that double their function as sun shades, an exclusive development by Storaket Architects for this project.
Traveling up to the higher levels, you come across the first classrooms, but the school is full of modern, hands-on solutions for improved learning. This includes several laboratories, creative studios, sports halls, and game and recreation areas. By doing so, Storaket Architects have made a fun and playful environment. This is clear in other design features, such as slides to travel to the lower floors and plenty of space for imagination to run free. The organization of this building mirrors that of buildings A and B, again allowing all three to work in harmony together.
Dilijan Central School
Dilijan Central School is the second education institute by Storaket Architects that we visited. Built in the city of Dilijan, the creative vision had to work in harmony with the surrounding mountainous landscape. Through doing so, the layout design comprised of four separate wings, all connected by a central corridor. This main entrance is where all students and teachers enter and exit the building, creating a cohesive shared space for all. The four wings – southern-western, southern-eastern, northern-eastern, and northern-western – then branch off from here. The two southern wings contain classrooms, while the northern wings contain the canteen, administration areas, and school halls.
Alongside working with the geographical landscape, the team also wanted the school to compliment the historical architecture typical of Dilijan. As such, the school is built to resemble the city’s streets. Each classroom is designed as a lodge with its own pointed roof and paneled glass to achieve this aesthetic. This open lodge-like design also complements the functionality of the school. Each classroom is accessible and large, creating an optimal environment for multiple students to learn inside. The space also allows for multifunctional educational experiences. On the lower levels of the buildings in the basement of the eastern wings lies the workshops for more hands-on learning experiences.