Tamanian, Aleksandr Ivanovich
Born Mar. 4 (16), 1878, in Ekaterinodar, now Krasnodar; died Feb. 20, 1936, in Yerevan. Soviet architect. People’s Architect of Armenia (1924).
Tamanian graduated from the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts in 1904. In his early work, including the former Shcherbatov mansion on Tchaikovsky Street in Moscow (1911–13) and the sanatorium complex in Kratovo (1913–23), Tamanian developed the principles of classicism. From 1923 he lived and worked in Yerevan. He drew up the first general plan for the modernization of Yerevan (approved 1924) and designs for the layout of Lenina-kan (1925), Echmiadzin (1927–28), and other cities. In numerous buildings in Yerevan—for example, the buildings of the physiotherapy, zooveterinary, and polytechnic institutes and the observatory and the anatomy laboratory of the medical institute (1920’s)—Tamanian used the composition methods of Russian classicism. Most often, however, he applied himself to the creative reworking of the traditions of medieval Armenian architecture, making masterful use of local stone to achieve monumental images. Examples of this work are the Government House of the Armenian SSR (1926–41; State Prize of the USSR, 1942) and the A. A. Spendiarov Theater of Opera and Ballet (1926–53). Tama-nian’s work played an important role in the development of the architecture of the Armenian SSR.