From left, YPLA Chair Narine Zardarian, architect Ronald Altoon, AUA Director of Development Dan Maljanian, and YPLA steering committee member Yeghig Keshishian at the November 24 event organized by AGBU YPLA.

AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles Host an Evening with Architect Ronald Altoon

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By Aleen Khanjian

LOS ANGELES — On November 24, 2009, the AGBU Young Professionals of Los Angeles (YPLA), in cooperation with the American University of Armenia and Woodbury University’s School of Architecture, held a highly informative and successful evening featuring internationally-known Armenian-American architect Ronald Altoon. Nearly 60 young professionals attended the program, entitled “Designing a Green Tomorrow: The American University of Armenia.” The evening consisted of a cocktail hour followed by an interactive presentation by the famed architect, who is a founding partner of Altoon + Porter Architects in Los Angeles and is responsible for the design of multiple projects worldwide. Altoon spoke about his experiences in Armenia and discussed at great length the most recent planning and design process involved in constructing the five-story, 108,000-square-foot Paramaz Avedisian Building at the American University in Armenia. He also spent time talking about sustainable design and the green technology movement.

AGBU YPLA steering committee member Yeghig Keshishian, who organized the event, said that Altoon’s Armenia project inspired a generation of Armenian architects and left the diaspora with a newfound appreciation for what can be achieved in Armenia. “The Paramaz Avedisian building is unique in Armenia’s recent history in its architectural rendering because it embraces modern, green technology as it pays tribute to Armenia’s rich architectural history best exemplified by the intricate yet simple designs of the ancient Armenian churches,” she said. “It was an enjoyable experience that helped our audience better appreciate the advances and shortcomings still confronting the nascent Republic of Armenia, and AGBU YPLA is thankful to Altoon for that, as well as his time and efforts.”

YPLA is a network of individuals, between the ages of 22 and 40, who individually and collectively mirror the AGBU’s mission to preserve and promote the Armenian identity and heritage by adding dimensions to the lives of young professional Armenians through educational, cultural, social and humanitarian programs. YPLA puts on monthly activities, including social-networking and professional career-building events, signature weekend getaways, hiking and camping trips, international video-conferences, service-oriented activities targeted toward Armenian youth, benefit events, as well as casual get-togethers, where up to 250 young Armenians can come together to exchange ideas and get to know each other better. YPLA is always looking for individuals who would like to volunteer their time either as a board member or on an event-by-event basis. For more information on how to get involved with YPLA, contact:agbu.ypla@gmail.com.

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