St. Targmanchats (Holy Translators) Church – Didactic Architecture

  • Address: Tbilissi st., Yerevan, Armenia
  • Area: 295.0 м2
  • Project year: 2012г
  • Role
    Competition project, Religious structure
  • PA
    Telemak ANANYAN
  • Architects

“Learn the wisdom and guidance, to know the act of genius” – the first sentence from the Holy Bible, translated by Mesrop Mashtots and written down in Armenian alphabet.

The verbs “to learn” and “to know” (synonymous to study, to be educated, to be enlighten) – hence the desire to create a didactic architecture.

The architecture of the temple has both sacred and didactic value. This allows on a vivid example to understand the laws of the timing and calendar, to understand the nature and the universe and the role of Christianity in this matter.

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world (John 9:5)

Feast of “Targmanchats” (of a translator) is a tribute of the Armenian people and culture to the Armenian alphabet (also the day of a teacher, of science and education). In the Armenian Church, this day is dedicated to the remarkable people, who adopted the Armenian alphabet.

According to the requirements of the competition, the church from one hand must contain the idea of Targmanchats holiday and from the other hand to match with the forms and appearance to the shapes of Armenian Church which have centuries long history.

We propose a conical, round in plan, four-apse cross-domed church which is traditional Armenian composition. The temple has eight chapels, one on each side of four apses.

In contrast to the common two-tier Armenian churches, the proposed three-tier concept that more closely matches the idea of “House of the Divine Trinity,” which was wonderfully realized in the architectural conception of the Cathedral of Vigil Forces in Zvartnots by Catholicos St. Nerses Shinarar (the Builder [7thcentury]).

“Then they will see the Son of a Man coming in clouds with great power and glory” (Matthew 13:26)

From the three sides of the world and the three tiers of the temple, the windows with the desired angle of inclination provide a sunbeam falling on the altar at any time of year and day.

Window openings of the first tier provides a phenomenon of the sun in winter, and from the east – in all seasons. The windows of the second tier – in fall and spring, and the third openings – in the summer when the sun is high above the firmament ( when days are long and nights and shadows are short).

In a separate window openings triangular glass prisms are fitted, which refract the light and create an effect of dispersion of the light beam in the interior of the church. Light as a bright and lively palette is poured into the interior of the church.

This effect creates a dynamic interior of the temple, an architectural interactive game. Filled with vibrant colors, spectral interior creates a “divine palette” of coloring on the walls and the apse of the church.

In 2012 the St. Targmanchats Church Project was awarded with Bronze Diploma of the II Russian Competition “Glass in Architecture” in the nomination “The Best interior solutions and building elements”.