Dutch architect MVRDV has designed Gagarin Valley, a 12,000 unit, 34,000ha project for the Armenian non-profit organization the DAR Foundation for Regional Development and Competitiveness.
Gagarin Valley, named after a Soviet cosmonaut, is located near Lake Sevan, 50km from the Armenian capital of Yerevan.
The additions for Gagarin Valley include a market hall, commercial centre, a centre for the arts and a 4,500-capacity stadium.
The project will turn the area into a “future-proof” and “self-sustaining valley” according to MVRDV, with a mosaic of 10,000 plant species.
Winy Maas, MVRDV’s founder, said: “The area is named after Yuri Gagarin, who was the first human to orbit the earth; he saw the planet’s vulnerability, a house in need of extra care, as many other astronauts have since stressed. I share that concern: stimulating biodiversity, improving water management and the ecosystem is of great importance for the future of the Gagarin Valley and the world.
“We designed a sphere that acts as mini-planet, where the classrooms surround a spherical void and where all the species of the valley and beyond are shown and monitored. The sphere will be surrounded by a central park that contains all the species – a scientific arboretum, reflected in the mirroring sphere. Gagarin would have loved it, I think.”