Following up to our less than praise worthy assessment of Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Stadium, it’s probably only fare that we come back around to another of the architects great projects, one that has been built, The Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku Azerbaijan.
The building is an undulating sinuous ribbon dancing above the plaza that it dominates. With more than a million square feet its gargantuan in size and serves as the central performance and exhibition center for the city. Regardless of your opinions on the politics of Azerbaijan it is a beautiful work of art and unlike the project in Tokyo, within its context the Heydar Aliyev Center “works”.
Architectural Digest did a very nice write up for it’s Ten Daring New Buildings –
“Nodding to Islamic calligraphy and decorative motifs, the center is a bold contrast to Baku’s prevailing hard-edged Soviet aesthetic. Glass-fiber-reinforced panels of concrete and polyester clad the building’s exterior—its undulating shape a feat of engineering, with structural supports embedded into the façade allowing for column-free expanses inside.”