Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic that became independent in 1991, is home to Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center, the plan for which won a design competition held in 2007.
Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu, an architect who works for Zaha Hadid Architects, explained that the project was inspired by study of the type of site, and is tied to its context but also breaks with the rigidity of the Soviet architecture common in the city. The building will become a key to promotion of the country’s cultural programmes and is intended to express the sensibility of Azerbaijani culture.
The key to the project lies in the building’s fluidity in relation to the plaza, in a continuous exchange that blurs the boundaries between inside and outside, between the architectural object and the urban landscape. This fluidity is underlined by the geometry of the structure and the lighting, which makes the centre look different by day and by night, as shown in the photographs of Iwan Baan, Helen Binet and Hufton + Crow.
Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
Images courtesy of Zaha Hadid Architects © Iwan Baan, © Helen Binet, © Hufton + Crow Photographers