Dutch architecture firm MVRDV has been commissioned by the Dar Foundation for Regional Development and Competitiveness to develop a master plan that will transform Gagarin Valley’s 34,000-hectare area into a more sustainable and ecologically diverse land. The valley will include 12,000 homes and 10,000 plant species in an area devoted to sustainable farming and ecotourism.
The community, located near Sevan Lake, is named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and holds a population of around 11,000 people. , with between 10,000 and 20,000 existing plots within them.
The team developed a design embracing the site’s mosaic of pieces, which is a unique topography consisting of different pieces of land, including enhancing the water system by creating new routes for canals and public paths, and the Hrazdan River was restored as a canal irrigating farmland and preserving water.
To further optimize the valley’s potential, MVRDV will add various facilities to the landscape, transforming it into a versatile landscape suitable for sustainable agriculture and living.
New roads running through the land will connect different villages together, while old buildings—built during Soviet times—will be entirely renovated. Their design will be inspired by traditional Armenian farmhouses, with vegetated roofs to make the valley attractive for different demographics.
The Armenian government aims to provide the valley with financial support for sustainable agriculture and tourism. By 2026, the country looks to attract around 2.5 million tourists a year, which will be made possible with the transformation of the Gagarin Valley.