Large works of construction were initiated at the end of the IXth century, notably on the Island of Ałt'amar on Lake Van. King Gagik Artsruni commissioned architect Manuel to build a royal palace, complete with an impressive church and a harbor. In choosing the design of the church, Manuel sought inspiration in the forms embodied by the VIIth century churches. For instance, he borrowed the basic layout of the St. Hripsime Church, but in the elevation treatment, he cultivated the special configuration of the cruciform churches.