Gyumri is a unique city in Armenia. From time immemorial, the city was home to many people, cultures, and religions. Therefore, the idea of friendship has always been one of the inseparable components of Gyumri’s outlook. In December 1988 the city suffered from a tragic earthquake, yet it did not lose its charisma and spirit. People in Gyumri know that all hardships can be overcome together, with joint efforts.
The Friendship Park is one of the key projects of Gyumri Revival Program. The Park was established in the 1960s in one of the central districts of the city in the territory of 7.2 ha. However, after the devastating earthquake in 1988 it fell into disrepair. The aim of the park’s revival is to balance the inorganic dual structure of the present-day Gyumri, interlink the periods of “before” and “after” the earthquake and create a new focus of social activities throughout the city. The idea of the project is in interaction of contrasts –young and old generations, tragic memories and joyful emotions, established traditions, and modern habits.
The concept of the new park is based on the integration of these seemingly contrasting notions which will become the symbol of the city’s revival – an initiative that will unleash the creative potential of mutually enriching cultures, traditions, and ways of thinking.
The park can become a unique bridge between the “old” and “new” Gyumri, traditions, and innovations, past and future. It will show that the city’s history is continuing, it is alive and moves forward without forgetting its glorious and tragic past. The idea of restoration of the Friendship Park was born in 2018 when we discussed anchor projects jointly with the locals which would bring together in their opinion all the Leninakan people and contribute to the social and economic changes in the city. So, the park’s concept was developed jointly with the locals. The new Friendship Park will reflect the modern values of the residents, provide leisure, become a dear place for locals and will present the city in a new way to its guests.
Functional content and events program of the park will be integrated into the city’s historical and cultural landscape. The new Friendship Park will reflect the modern values of the residents, provide leisure, become a dear place for locals and will present the city in a new way to its guests.
One part of the park’s territory is adjacent to the children’s hospital and the other part lies next to residential buildings. The park is zoned in the way that passive areas are closer to the hospital while the active zones – children’s and sports playgrounds – to residential buildings and are thus more accessible for families.
Implementation of the Friendship Park revival project will influence the whole Gyumri. The park will become a new place of leisure for locals and will attract tourists. The park will also provide employment to local specialists and training programs for their career development. Thus, the project will become one of the drivers of such changes in a city as diversification of economy, reduce youth migration, increase in the quality and safety of the city’s environment.