Alexander Tamanian the planner of modern Yerevan
Alexander Tamanian was a Russian-born Armenian neoclassical architect, well known for his work in the city of Yerevan.
Tamanian was born in Yekaterinodar, Kuban Oblast, Russian Empire (now Krasnodar, Russia) on 4 March 1878, in the family of a banker.
He graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1904. His works portrayed sensitive and artistic neoclassical trends popular in those years. Some of his early works included the mansion of V. P. Kochubei in Tsarskoye Selo, 1911–1912; the house of Prince S. A. Scherbatov in Novinski Boulevard in Moscow, 1911–1913; the village railway employees' housing and the tuberculosis sanatorium at the Prozorovskaya station (now Kratovo) near Moscow, 1913–1923; central workshops of Kazan railway in Lyubertsy, 1916).
Tamanian created the first general plan of the modern city of Yerevan which was approved in 1924. His style was instrumental in transforming what was essentially a small provincial city into the modern Armenian capital, a major industrial and cultural center. Neoclassicism dominated his designs but Tamanian also implemented a national flavor (red linings of tuff, traditional decorative carvings on stone, etc.). Among his most famous designs in Yerevan are the hydroelectric station (ERGES-1, 1926), the Opera and Ballet House named after A. Spendiarian (1926–1953), the Republic Square (1926–1941), and others. He also played a major role in the development of restoration projects of historical landmarks in the country, chairing the Committee for the Protection of Historical Monuments in Armenia.
He was married to Camilla Edwards, a member of the Benois family. Their sons Gevorg (Georgi) and Yulius Tamanian also became noted architects and continued their father's work.
Tamanian died in Yerevan on 20 February 1936 and is buried at the Komitas Pantheon which is located in the city center of Yerevan.