My favorite sight in Armenia was this jewel of architecture at Lake Sevan.
In 1932 Gevorg Kochar and Mikael Mazmanyan were commissioned to design a Writers Resort (the building behind the UFO). There were clear tendencies at the time to build with classical, armenian style elements but they argued for Modernism. In 1937 both architects were deported to the Arctic Circle only to be freed after Stalins death 15 years later.
In 1963 Kochar built the second part of the building, a wet dream for every avant-gardist, again without any reference or sentimentality towards the architectural surroundings. In comparison to the rest of Armenian architecture which is – until today – mostly post-Soviet Kitsch or orientally influenced tackiness, this project is really outstanding.
Today the lounge and the hotel are desperately in need for repair. And there is already some money from the Getty Foundation and the Alvar Aalto Foundation. One can only hope that there is enough sensibility for this treasure not to be dressed in pseudo-luxurious russian style overabundance but to be kept in its simple serenity and in its positive outlook to a bright modernistic future.
Until it is renovated you can take the chance to sleep in the hostel for very little money. But be aware that a lot of reviewers talk about old furniture and the scent of mold. Do it anyway and simply think of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir who slept in your bed some years before.