Zaha Hadid’s Azerbaijan cultural centre nears completion

The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, expected to open in September, is a new project consisting of a library, museum, and conference centre in Baku, Azerbaijan. The design defines a new neighbourhood designated for residents, offices, and commercial centres. The centre is situated on a site measuring over 111,000 m2.

The 57,000 square-meter building is designed as a solitary volume that folds vertically from the landscape to form a single uninterrupted surface. The openings between folds will offer entrances to the various components of the center and the exterior fluidity of the ensemble was dictated by the necessity of natural light too, the glass facades ensuring a proper interior lighting.

“We focused, for example, on easy-to-clean external cladding materials because of the heavy air pollution… There are oil refineries and such nearby, and the cladding is white. That’s how glass fiber reinforced plastic came up, which is dirt-repellent itself. In general, all building systems are chosen to have high durability and a long lifetime and low maintenance efforts” said Thomas Winterstetter of Werner Sobek, the main engineers of the project.