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Modern Richmond Week // 09.17.18 // Haigh Jamgochian

  • Library of Virginia 800 East Broad Street Richmond, VA, 23219 United States (map)
Haigh Jamgochian.jpg

Note: Only ticket holders will be admitted

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Library of Virginia

800 East Broad Street

5:30-7:30 pm

Join Modern Richmond and the community for a talk and a look at treasures from the Library of Virginia archives in celebration of renowned Richmond mid-century architect Haigh Jamgochian.

  • Edwin Slipek, Jr. Architecture Critic, Style Weekly VCU, Adjunct Professor of Architectural History
  • Vincent Brooks Senior Local Records Archivist, Library of Virginia

Special Guest: Haigh Jamgochian

In a city comprised mostly of red brick and classical architecture, Haigh Jamgochian’s avant garde buildings were radical, rebellious and futuristic — some might even say for Richmond today. 

Rather than drawing inspiration from his immediate Richmond surroundings, Jamgochian looked beyond. In the 1960s, humankind was gazing skyward with space travel, the construction of the Space Needle, and TV shows like like the “Twilight Zone” and “The Jetsons” that explored the great unknown. Jamgochian felt the mystical pull of the future too, and through his designs he pioneered his own journey, challenging how we interact with our environment.
Eschewing the traditional style and materials of yesteryear, Jamgochian instead designed buildings with visionary form and innovative materials. The Markel Building, which appeared as though a flying saucer crash-landed in Willow Lawn, garnered much attention when it opened in 1965. With the construction of the Moon House in 1968, Jamgochian simultaneously brought the concept of space down to earth while also putting a man on the moon. 

While the Markel Building and Moon House came to fruition, Jamgochian’s other visions did not. He designed a 15-story “tree house” apartment for Franklin and Foushee streets with cantilevered floors branching out of the building’s main trunk. If constructed, the futuristic “tree house” would’ve towered above the historic brick row houses surrounding it, creating a dramatic juxtaposition of architecture in the city. With its unconventional look, the building’s plans were not approved by Richmond City Council.

And for Virginia Beach, Jamgochian designed the ultimate getaway — a hotel where you don’t need to leave your room to explore the surroundings. Rotating on its axis, the hotel would give guests 360 degrees of views without leaving their suites. 

Born just a few blocks away in Jackson Ward, Jamgochian is Richmond’s very own architecture darling — and through his time as an architect, he has challenged convention and helped to move Richmond into the future.

Click here to purchase your tickets

Note: Only ticket holders will be admitted

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