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Portico and entrance of the library. A partial view of the interior

The mention of the crystalline structure, the pure, geometrically perfect form, rigorously controlled by mathematical laws, closely bound to symmetrical axes, may be a useful reference point for a critical examination of Armenian architecture in so far as the planning method behind all conctruction is concerned. We shall make particular reference to centralized realizations which are probably the most typical and the most important.
Having said this, the substantial difference in architectural concept between Byzantine churches (referring for convenience to the Justinian Santa Sophia type in Constantinople, although equally valid for later examples) and those of the Armenian world (Avan, Hripsimd at Vagharshapat) becomes clear. The previously mentioned comparison which can only be at a level of pure reference in this study, makes it necessary to extend the "crystalline" concept from exteriors to interiors, where more than anywhere else the essence of the symbolic, expressive, intentions of Armenian architecture are revealed. This, however, is a common feature in the East and Middle East.

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