Heydar Aliyev Center by
Zaha Hadid Architects

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

Here are the first photographs of Zaha Hadid's almost-completed Heydar Aliyev Center, an undulating cultural centre in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects

Expected to open in September, the 57,000 square-metre building is designed by Zaha Hadid Architects as a fluid volume that folds up from the landscape to form a single continuous surface.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
Front elevation perspective render

Glazed openings between folds will offer entrances, leading into the library, museum and conference centre contained inside.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
Side elevation perspective render

The building was recently nominated for awards at both this year's World Architecture Festival and the biennial Inside Festival.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
Site plan - click for larger image

In the last year Hadid has completed several buildings, including a 142-metre tower in Marseille and a 330,000-square-metre retail, office and entertainment complex in Beijing.

Heydar Aliyev Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects
Building elevation - click for larger image

She also recently purchased the current building of the Design Museum in London and is planning to convert it into an archive of her studio's designs. See more stories about Zaha Hadid »

Here's some project credits from Zaha Hadid Architects:

Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
Project Architect & Designer: Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu

Design Team: Sara Sheikh Akbari, Shiqi Li, Phil Soo Kim, Marc Boles, Yelda Gin, Liat Muller, Deniz Manisali
Lillie Liu, Jose Lemos, Simone Fuchs, Jose Ramon Tramoyeres, Yu Du, Tahmina Parvin, Erhan Patat, Fadi Mansour, Jaime Bartolome, Josef Glas, Michael Grau, Deepti Zachariah, Ceyhun Baskin, Daniel Widrig, Murat Mutlu

Main Contractor: Dia
Structural: AKT, Tuncel Engineers
Space Frame: Mero
Façade Consultant: Werner Sobek
Mechanical: Gmd Engineers
Acoustics Consultant: Mezzo Studyo
Lighting Consultant: Mbld
Fire Consultant: Etik Engineering

  • ThomasV

    Things have to be said as they are… this is a stunning building! Hope to see more pictures soon!

  • David


  • Ricky Bobby

    I love you Zaha!

  • Getoverit

    Fantastic. Great effort. Its been almost seven years.

  • Chris

    Say what you will about her but when she wants to, she really can pull it off.

    • bored of it all

      “She”? Office of 400 people more like!

      • Chris

        Oh well what’s the point then? What’s the point in giving out the Stirling prize or the Pritzker to individuals when so many others are involved in the process?

        Or maybe architecture prizes still have meaning because they recognise that without the head architect, the direction and style of a building would be completely different

        I’m not commending Hadid; I personally find her (and her team’s) designs, more often than not, atrocious. I’m merely giving credit where credit’s due in this situation.

  • GMAC

    Agreed that it looks fantastic and one of the best things to come out this office lately. I think however that Zaha Hadid as the individual should stop being lauded as the genius.

    The basic concept to have the building “folding up from the landscape” is hardly earth shattering. I think that her army of extremely talented staff and 3D whizz-kids deserve most of the credit for actually being able to realise this project to such a high standard, not to mention the people who actually built it.

    • DTF

      The story of every architecture project ever = GIGANTIC team effort. The solitary genius is a myth. Thank you!

    • amsam

      Which makes her different from every other major architect… how?

  • Airborne

    Her most beautiful building, exterior wise.

  • mlk

    This is good. I don’t like Zaha’s epileptic architecture but this is pleasant and harmonious.

  • JayCee

    Looks stunning. I can’t wait to see more.

  • Chris

    Danny MacAskill needs to ride this roof. Pretty form.

  • Typical renderings of unrealistic glass panels.

    But I’m really impressed with the workmanship.

    I’d be terrified of building that in London, let alone Baku! It looks stunning.

  • James Mackie

    Never been a fan, but this looks impressive (externally at least).

  • Alojz & Scaronuc

    Being a strong hater of this office’s architecture I can’t believe I am writing this, but I do actually like it. Still this is just a feeling about its formal appearance.

    Like all the other projects this is probably a huge waste of resources. I have no clue if this matches the requirements asked for or if it works out well as the demanded space. No speak of budgets at all.

  • H. Jarman

    Great building, one of her best works.

    But, is it just me that thinks it is a waste this building is in Azerbaijan?

    • guest

      Why? Have you ever been in Azerbaijan? Have you ever seen any other building in Azerbaijan?

  • Josh V

    This is beautiful but I just wish for once she might design a building that works with the landscape, instead of sitting on a paved white canvas.

  • scuffedshoes

    You think she has to pay royalties to Rem D Koolhaas for copying his Möbius Shoe?

  • gob bluth

    Nice but how do you stop people from walking up the roof and falling off?

    • Michael

      People in Azerbaijan aren’t so stupid as to simply walk off buildings, come on.

    • devin du Plessis

      You have people on the top who hold everyone who doesn’t know how not to fall off a cliff’s hand.

  • Charlie

    Who is this Heydar Aliyev guy anyway? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heydar_Aliyev

    File alongside the Saddam Hussain Gymnasium, maybe. That’s the charitable take. Far preferable for Zaha Hadid’s office not to touch this stuff in the first place. Also, and incidentally, the cladding looks set for a short life as white cladding.

  • Alain

    Beautiful …great work.

  • Desk

    It’s because of the current codes on glass insulation and structural limits and worldwide regulations on disability issues that the detailing and the execution of the project really falters – I’m talking about the ramps and the glazing.

    Imagine how much better if the ramps were a continuous curve without that jagged crud that pervades our current works of marvellous architecture. The glazing detailing is a real letdown – could have been better integrated. It is neither here nor there. The tiling on the floor also sucks big time, there is no coherence, perhaps a use of a terrazzo, cementitious finish or a vinyl floor would have been better suited for a fluid, flowing surface.

    Maybe it’s just Azerbaijan’s lack of quality workmanship or detailing expertise.

  • Bryan M.

    Incredible-looking building. Looks like could use better integration with landscape, more walkable, useable outdoor area. Wonder how the interior performs?

  • Devin du Plessis

    To all the ‘it was a team effort’ haters. Why don’t you become a paper architect and then one day – after your stuff finally gets built – after all your life’s hard work, give all the credit mostly to your team.

  • Devin du Plessis

    @Charlie: “Had no alternative to armed and violent resistance” – this is a quote of a leader who won a Nobel Peace prize. So basically no president is innocent.

  • Seif

    I think Zaha Hadid came from other planet. She makes awesome designs! It’s so unbelievable.

  • Kenneth Smythe

    Extremism in the promotion of ones ego is no vice. It’s a posture.

  • doqo


  • Карина Минасян

    Tremendous architecture! Smooth and easy lines. I very much love Zaha Hadid’s architecture!

  • Imposing building. And an amazing presentation.