Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Carpe Diem #1234 Waves (Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azarbaijan, by Zaha Hadid)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

What an awesome month this is ... modern art ... in all its forms. We have seen sculptures of stone, glass, but also paintings with several themes e.g. geometric patterns. And today I love to share with you another kind of modern art .... this time I have chosen for a wonderful piece of modern architecture, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku Azerbaijan (former USSR). It's a design of Zaha Hadid Architects and I think it is gorgeous.

Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (exterior)

The design of the Heydar Aliyev Center establishes a continuous, fluid relationship between its surrounding plaza and the building’s interior. The plaza, as the ground surface; accessible to all as part of Baku’s urban fabric, rises to envelop an equally public interior space and define a sequence of event spaces dedicated to the collective celebration of contemporary and traditional Azeri culture. Elaborate formations such as undulations, bifurcations, folds, and inflections modify this plaza surface into an architectural landscape that performs a multitude of functions: welcoming, embracing, and directing visitors through different levels of the interior. With this gesture, the building blurs the conventional differentiation between architectural object and urban landscape, building envelope and urban plaza, figure and ground, interior and exterior.
Heydar Aliyev Center Baku Azerbaijan (interior)

Fluidity in architecture is not new to this region. In historical Islamic architecture, rows, grids, or sequences of columns flow to infinity like trees in a forest, establishing non-hierarchical space. Continuous calligraphic and ornamental patterns flow from carpets to walls, walls to ceilings, ceilings to domes, establishing seamless relationships and blurring distinctions between architectural elements and the ground they inhabit. Our intention was to relate to that historical understanding of architecture, not through the use of mimicry or a limiting adherence to the iconography of the past, but rather by developing a firmly contemporary interpretation, reflecting a more nuanced understanding. Responding to the topographic sheer drop that formerly split the site in two, the project introduces a precisely terraced landscape that establishes alternative connections and routes between public plaza, building, and underground parking. This solution avoids additional excavation and landfill, and successfully converts an initial disadvantage of the site into a key design feature.
A wonderful piece of modern art architecture ... more about this beautiful piece of architecture you can find here at: Zaha Hadid.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until August 15th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Tongue of Lucifer, later on. For now .... have fun!

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