Today, we are talking about an ambitious project that reformed an entire country’s architectural image from an award-winning female architect. Who are we talking about? The HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS, of course! Located in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, it is a monument to the country’s rebirth after its independence from the Soviet influence in 1991. The specific structural characteristics are a tribute to Azerbaijan’s willpower and its vision of the future. Are you interested in the HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS? Let’s begin!


The firm was founded by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid, a pioneer woman in her field and became the first woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Her style is highlighted by the building’s features, particularly recognizable for the fluidity and lack of 90-degree angles, that make the HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS a symbol of the country’s culture and optimistic attitude.


The firm work – appointed in 2007 following a competition – creates a stark contrast with the adjacent buildings; the rigid Soviet-era edifices answered the call of Soviet Modernism. Instead, the HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS gladly demonstrates the heavily invested infrastructural and architecture modernisation: the concept behind the building was based on the continuity between the surrounding plaza and the interior, obtained thanks to fluid lines, undulations, and folds that constitutes a different kind of welcome from the nearby cold facades – a warm-embracing welcome to the visitors to enter and discover the Azeri culture.

There is no dissimilarity between interior and exterior: every architectural piece is tiny tassel of a cultural transformation – a positive reminder of possibilities and opportunities – influenced by the past traditions of Azerbaijan: the rows and sequences of columns are directly connected to the historical Islamic tradition of the place, while ornamental patterns run from the carpets to the ceiling, creating a visual monochromatic consistency.

The architect’s skills are displayed by the original structure and with its lack of rigidity. Every line is ethereal, thanks to a space frame system that allows the specific free-form construction and ideal cladding materials, capable of rendering the plasticity effect of the building’s design. The project takes advantage of the land topography and its terraced landscape and – with the application of semi-reflective glass – makes full use of the natural light during the day and transforms the HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE BY ZAHA HADID ARCHITECTS in a majestic spectacle during the night, when the interior becomes part of the exterior. A true example of architectural rediscovery and attention to cultural dynamics.

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