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Utopia & Collapse – Rethinking Metsamor 

The Armenian Atomic City

Concept by Sarhat Petrosyan, Katharina Roters | 2018

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.



A'Design Award 2019 in Print and Published Media Category

Utopia and Collapse book cover