The mixed-use Mercedes Benz Business Center planned for Yerevan, Armenia is a chance to redevelop a rundown section of the city and transform it into a business destination and an example of sustainability and progress. Designed by Brooklyn-based HTDStudio, the new center a stacked multi-purpose building covered in green roofs. Through a strong focus on both form and function, the Jenga-like tower aims to minimize its footprint and impact on the surrounding city, while also improving accessibility and creating a living program. Solar power, rainwater collection, greywater recycling and geothermal heating and cooling all add to the sustainability of the exciting mixed use building.
The location of the Mercedes Benz Business Center has long been slated to become a mixed-use development and many exciting schemes like Forrest Fulton Architect’s Lace Hill, have been proposed. HTDStudio’s entry for this latest competition bases its design on the existing site, which is where the former Yerevan Youth Center still resides. The new building would reuse the at-grade wall-base of the old Yerevan Youth Center as a museum. From there, four main pylons lift the superstructure off the ground allowing an unfettered site. Then each level is lowered onto the utility core and is suspended to anticipate and counteract seismic activity and oscillation. A steel ‘monocoque’ allows the floor units to be staggered and maintain integrity.
Rising from the floor up, the mixed-use development is comprised of conference rooms, a ballroom, a fitness center and spa, a restaurant, apartments, a theater and a hotel. Like a crowning jewel, the presidential suite tops the tower and promises dramatic views of Yerevan and Mt. Ararat. Each block floor is staggered and features a green roofed garden planted with trees and other vegetation to help provide insulation against the cold and the heat. Rainwater is collected from these roofs and stored in a cistern underground along with filtered waste water, which is then diverted to the sprinkler system and other non-potable uses. Geothermal heating and cooling provides energy efficient climate control and ensures that the MBBC will exceed future energy expenditure treaties and requirements in the region. Finally, solar energy systems will be installed on some of the roofs to take advantage of the relatively sunny climate.