Chief Design Officer
Ping An Real Estate, Shanghai
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, New York City
The old oil city Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, has been transforming into the Caspian’s new hub of high-rise buildings and lively culture. With new urban planning to accommodate rapidly increasing demands for residential, cultural and business spaces, Baku is preparing for its new role as a world city.
The Kitly district, near the center of downtown Baku, has changed from a district of narrow streets hemmed in by low-rise masonry buildings to a modern, active community of buildings with breathtaking forms, filled with thriving businesses and a strong base of young professionals. SOCAR Tower, Azersu Office Tower and the recently topped-out Ministry of Taxation (MOT) Tower have revitalized the skyline of Baku with their futuristic shapes.
The MOT Tower consists of five twisted stacking cubes, suspended from a circular central core. Each cube holds five office floors and a column-free green roof terrace, affording a distinguished separation between the cubes. Subsequent floors each twist 1.2 degrees with respect to the floor below, creating an astonishing 40-degree twist overall. SOCAR Tower is already a local landmark with its dynamic flame-like shape, representing continuous development of the country and its future. Across from SOCAR Tower, Azersu Office Tower is shaped like a drop of water. These high-rise buildings, reflecting fire, water, and modernistic cubes, linked between their podia by skybridges, have given Kitly a unique, well-balanced and organically blended composition. This presentation traces the transformation of Baku --through building design solutions, and the construction challenges overcome -- through collaborative teamwork, from an old oil city to a futuristic building gallery.