Israelian, Rafael

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Israelian, Rafael Sergeevich (Sarkisovich)


Born Sept. 4 (17), 1908, in Tbilisi. Soviet architect. People’s Architect of the USSR (1970).

Israelian studied at the Leningrad Academy of Arts from 1929 to 1934. He began working in Yerevan in 1936, becoming an instructor at a polytechnical institute there in 1940. Israelian’s buildings are noted for simplicity and clearness of form and silhouette. Contemporary ideological, functional, and constructive features are organically combined with traditional national elements. The simple decoration of large flat surfaces consists of motifs from medieval Armenian architecture. His works in Yerevan include the wine cellars of the Ararat Trust (1937–63, the first stage of which was designed in collaboration with G.B. Kochar and others), the aqueduct across the Razdan River (1949), the pedestal of the monument To Victory (1949; State Prize of the USSR, 1950), and the monument Vaagn (1965, sculptor A.A. Arutiunian). Israelian designed a complex (two sculptures, stelae, and an obelisk; 1968) in the Oktemberian Raion in memory of the battle of Sardarapat of 1918. He also created a new type of memorial—small fountains in memory of the heroes of the Great Patriotic War.


Babaian, L. “Rafael Sergeevich Israelian.” Arkhitektura SSSR, 1968, no.11, pp. 69–71.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.