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Biomes and Biodiversity Feature in Azerbaijan's Pavilion for Milan 2015

Azerbaijan has recently unveiled the design of “Treasure of Biodiversity,” its dedicated pavilion for Expo Milano 2015, marking the first time the country has participated at a Universal Exposition. Designed by Italian firm Simmetrico Network, the pavilion aims to reflect the unique cultures and landscapes of Azerbaijan while acting as a model of sustainable design. Complete with biospheres and undulating walls, the pavilion’s unique form takes cues from the central Expo theme of “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” and hopes to engage visitors with the values of protected biodiversity. 

Courtesy of Simmetrico Network Courtesy of Simmetrico Network Courtesy of Simmetrico Network Courtesy of Simmetrico Network

Baku Flame Towers / HOK

  • Architects: HOK
  • Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
  • Area: 234500.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Farid Khayrulin

© Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin © Farid Khayrulin

Video: Autoban Design For Heydar Aliyev International Airport

Baku White City Office Building Proposal / ADEC – Azerbaijan Development Company

The Baku White City Office Building Proposal by ADEC – Azerbaijan Development Company just received the awards for Office Architecture and Office Development at the Asia Pacific Property Awards event last week. A development of an international level, Baku White City Office Building features offices and commercial areas. A beautiful plaza is planned in front of the building where the foundation stone of Baku White City is situated, and which will become a beginning of a vibrant promenade along the Nobel Avenue. More images and information on the award-winning project after the break.

Azercosmos / Nariman Architecture

© Shahin Huseinov
© Shahin Huseinov
  • Architects: Nariman Architecture
  • Location: Azerbaijan
  • Architect in Charge: Nariman Imamaliev
  • Design Team: A.Elchin, M.Urfan, H.Nigar, I.Samira, A.Susan, A.Nigar, Q.Rafael
  • Constructors: Sakhavat Asadov, Abdulla Ahmadov
  • Area: 2200.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Shahin Huseinov

© Shahin Huseinov © Shahin Huseinov © Shahin Huseinov © Shahin Huseinov

Azerbaijan Tower Proposal / Avesta Group

With plans to become the world’s tallest building at about 3645 feet, the Azerbaijan Tower is being built on a series of artificial islands, the Khazar Islands, in the Caspian Sea 16 miles south of Baku, Azerbaijan.  Avesta Group, the company behind the project, is expecting to have the skyscraper completed by 2019 at an estimated cost of $2 billion. With 189 floors, it is expected to surpass the the Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai and Saudi Arabia’s proposed 3280 foot Kingdom Tower. More images can be viewed after the break.

Zaha’s Heydar Aliyev Center on Fire

Sports Concert Complex / gmp Architekten + Collaborators

The challenging task of designing for the Eurovision Song Contest this year was undertaken by combining the efforts of gmp Architekten von Gerkan, Marg und Partner, Alpine Bau Deutschland AG, and Nüssli International AG. Taking place in Azerbaijan’s capital Baku at Crystal Hall, the aim was to create and implement a multipurpose event-venue that is meant to accommodate 25,000 spectators.The characteristic crystalline shape of the building and its illuminated façade is the response to Azerbaijan’s special request for the creation of a widely visible and visually effective landmark as a bridge between Asia and Europe that will be noticed in an international context. More images and architects’ description after the break.

Heydar Aliyev International Airport / RSA Design Group

© RSA Design Group
© RSA Design Group

The existing airport in Baku currently serves both international and domestic flights. The local airport authority is currently in the process of building a new international terminal building. RSA Design Group was asked to submit a proposal for the renovation of the existing building. The renovated structure would be repurposed as a domestic terminal, with all international flights passing through the new terminal building. More about the Heydar Aliyev International Airport after the break. Architect: RSA Design Group Location: Baku, Azerbaijan Project Year: 2010 Photographs: RSA Design Group

Zira Island Carbon Neutral Master Plan / BIG Architects

Carbon Neutral master plans are being adopted in several countries, in times when energy and emissions are becoming very important.

And that´s exactly what Azerbaijan will do to develop  Zira Island on the Caspian Sea,  located in the bay of the capital city Baku. The master plan was developed with danish BIG Architects and Ramboll engineers, with an architectural proposal  based upon the country’s dramatic natural setting.

In the words of Bjarke Ingels, the proposal for Zira Island is an architectural landscape based on the natural landscape of Azerbaijan. This new architecture not only recreates the iconic silhouettes of the seven peaks, but more importantly creates an autonomous ecosystem where the flow of air, water, heat and energy are channeled in almost natural ways. A mountain creates biotopes and eco-niches, it channels water and stores heat, it provides viewpoints and valleys, access and shelter. The Seven Peaks of Azerbaijan are not only metaphors, but actual living models of the mountainous ecosystems of Azerbaijan.

This mountain concept may sound strange, but BIG has developed this in the past as you can see on Mountain Dwellings.

As you can see on the images (and on a video below), this urbanized peaks that Bjarke describes are derived from the geometry of famous mountains in the country, and each peak becomes a unit of private and public mixed uses. The result is an organic skyline that merges buildings with the natural topography of the island. Among the peaks, there´s a public central valley that connects a series of private resort villages and the beaches. Also, a public trekking path connects the mountains and allows the visitors to scale up to the top.  It also includes  300 private villas that take advantage of their setting with panoramic views out over the Caspian Sea.

But the main highlight of this masterplan was to make the Zira Island completly independent of external resources, achieved through the mix of traditional Azerbaijani building tradition and new technologies. The aim is to provide a high-end living wiht a minimum usage of the resources.

This strategy includes several aspects: