Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign was one of four firms short-listed for the design of the Armenian American Museum in Glendale, California and took first place in the design competition. The intent for the museum is to serve as a repository of cultural memory, a symbol of national identity, a celebration of individual achievement, and a commemoration of the sufferings of a people.
We sought a form that could contain these multiple intentions, while evoking the complex layers of Armenian identity. The circular form is as enduring as the Armenian eternity symbol and as familiar as choereg. It expresses the wholeness and integrity of Armenian culture – language, religion, and heritage held intact through the genocide and diaspora – and yet it also represents, through its complex articulation, the diversity and richness of the Armenian experience.
The circle symbolizes harmony and integration, but its discontinuity conveys dual meanings: it is a reminder of fractured ancestral homeland, its people dispersed; but it is also an open, welcoming gesture to the community – inviting participation.
Internally and externally, the circular form, spiraling upwards, provides a path of discovery for the visitor and inspires a narrative that connects the Armenian past, present and future, proudly celebrating that “Armenians are Global Citizens.”