The Facade of the Saint Sarkis Church

one-and-one-half-million unique pixels, each memorializing one of the one-and-a-half million individuals who perished in the 1915 Armenian Genocide
David Hotson Architect

The western facade at the entrance to the Church of Saint Sarkis serves as a memorial to the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

From a distance the facade depicts the traditional Armenian cross or “tree of life” with the distinctive branching arms.

As a visitor approaches the façade, the cross is seen to be composed of interwoven botanical and geometrical motifs drawn from Armenian art.

As a visitor approaches still closer, the overall façade design dissolves into a grid circular ornaments, each one centimeter in diameter, derived from the circular emblems that recur throughout the Armenian artistic tradition. There are 1.5 million ornaments in total spreading across the entire facade, each generated by a computer script to make every pixel unique.

Each individual ornament is unique, each representing on of the 1.5million individuals who perished in the 1915 Armenian Genocide.

The scale of the individual icons spreading across the entire building façade provides an encounter with the scale of this historical loss.

The church of Saint Sarkis was consecrated on Saturday, April 23rd, 2022, and the first service was celebrated the following day, on April 24th, the date every year dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

In November 2022, the Saint Sarkis memorial facade was honored with a Best of Year Award by the editors of Interior Design Magazine.

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