Alexander Hovhannes Tamanyan was born in 1878. He was born on March 4 in Yekaterinodar (now Krasnodar). In 1904 he graduated from the Higher Art College of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.

Tamanyan’s first work was the reconstruction of St. Catherine Armenian Church in St. Petersburg (1906).

Tamanyan used the classical Russian architecture of the 18th and early 19th centuries with a unique interpretation.

Tamanyan was elected Academician of the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts in 1914, and the Chairman of the Academy Council in 1917. He moved to Yerevan in 1919, and  to Iran(he founded an art studio in Tabriz) in 1921 ,he was invited to Armenia in 1923. His first architectural work was the master layout of Yerevan (for a population of 150,000), which became the basis for further layouts. Tamanyan surveyed the city, noted its made up center and axes: the current Republic Square, the Main Avenue, the Ring Park, North Avenue (opened in 2007).

In 1934, the architect began planning the “Great Yerevan” (for 500 thousand residents), which remained unfinished. Tamanyan also made layouts for Gyumri, Vagharshapat, Stepanakert, Nor Bayazet (now Gavar), Akhta (now Hrazdan) and other settlements in 1925-33.

Tamanyan’s masterpieces – the Government House of the Republic of Armenia – the Opera and Ballet Theater building(originally Joghtun), the latter was awarded the Grand Gold Medal of the Paris World Fair in 1937.

A street was named after Tamanyan in Yerevan, where his monument, the house of Armenian architects, and the museum-institute were erected. The Union of Architects of Armenia established the Tamanyan Gold Medal in 2001.