Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku

Gigantic cultural facility with flowing lines

This structure, with its flowing lines, is impressive and unmistakable. It inspires curious visitors to explore the spacious grounds and to view the building from different perspectives.

The curved surface is illuminated from within the ground. These are luminaires that allow vertical façades to be illuminated right down to the ground. Their robust bronze cover also visually emphasises the durable character of these lighting tools.

With its sculptural effect, the cultural centre, which was designed by Zaha Hadid, forms a striking contrast in Baku to the more monumental effect of public buildings from the past Soviet era. The unique architecture of this new building is intended to represent a transformation into a modern Azerbaijan.

The current president had the cultural centre built in memory of his father, Heydar Aliyev. One can only hope that the population will be able to share our pleasure in this fascinating project.

Client Republic of Azerbaijan

Architecture Zaha Hadid Architects, London

General contractor DIA Holding, Istanbul

Lighting design MBLD Maurice Brill Lighting Design, London

Photography Hufton+Crow, Hertford Iwan Baan, Amsterdam