Utopia & Collapse – Rethinking Metsamor
The Armenian Atomic City
Concept by Sarhat Petrosyan, Katharina Roters
Metsamor, a workers’ town adjacent to the eponymous Armenian nuclear power plant, is a symbol of the Soviet-Armenian dream of technological progress. Over the course of nearly two decades, construction of the town advanced at a rapid pace. However, a devastating earthquake in 1988 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 led to the shutdown of the power plant and, subsequently, all construction in Metsamor came to a halt. By the time the plant reopened in 1995, the town had become disengaged from its original purpose and people were living in a half-built and largely abandoned urban skeleton.
Metsamor’s architecture is a unique example of a distinctively Armenian variety of Soviet Modernism of the 1960s and 1970s. This book, based on the extensive and multidisciplinary Re-Think Metsamor research project, for the first time tells the city’s story in full and reveals what lessons can be learned from it.
Shortlist of the German Photobookaward 2018.
Concept: Sarhat Petrosyan, Katharina Roters
Research Team: Sarhat Petrosyan, Armine Shahbazyan, Nvard Yerkanian, Sofi Haykazuni, Ara Marjanyan
Graphic design: Tímea Andorka
Title and cover concept: József Szolnoki
Cover image: Davit Ayvazyan, Hieroglyph.am
Translations: Sona Hovhannisyan (ARM-ENG), Daniel Nashaat (HUN-ENG),
Edith C. Watts (GER-ENG), Dájbukát Borbély László (HUN-ARM)
Linguistic editing: Arto Vaun, Armine Bachachyan (Assistant)
Proofreading: Charlotte Eckler (USA)
Printing: Pauker Holding Kft., Budapest (HU)
Publisher: Park Books AG (CH)