Heydar Aliyev Center

The Heydar Aliyev Center Azerbaijan includes a new national museum, library and concert hall. The core element of the design by Zaha Hadid Architects is the unity between the plaza, the surrounding landscape and the double-curved building envelope.

Flowing Transitions Between Floor, Wall and Ceiling

The complex geometry of the building designed by Zara Hadid and the geographical location of the site were particular challenges for Werner Sobek’s facade engineering. Baku is located on the eastern extension of one of the main mountain ridges of the Caucasus. The risk of earthquakes is increased, the climate harsh: storms are frequent and sometimes extremely strong. Summers are hot and dry, while winters bring heavy rainfall and freezing temperatures. The local industry is heavily influenced by crude oil refineries, whose emissions had to be taken into account when planning the surfaces (or their cleaning behaviour). Last but not least, Werner Sobek had the task of coordinating the planning, production and assembly process, which was spread over two continents and several countries.

An aesthetically unique building skin was created in which floor, wall and ceiling merge into one another without transitions.

In autumn 2016, the building was shortlisted for the RIBA International Prize by a prominent jury.

Zaha Hadid Architects, London/United Kingdom

Planning time
2008 − 2009

Construction time
2008 − 2012

Services by Werner Sobek

  • Engineering of building envelope (glazed curtain wall, 3D solid skin and 3D interior skin)
  • Peer review of main steel roof structure works
  • Coordination of main steel roof structure works
  • Project Management of all envelope-related items
  • Site supervision

101,800 m²

DIA Holding, Baku/Azerbaijan

Helene Binet, London/United Kingdom

Best Architectural Design of the Year 2014
RIBA International Prize – Shortlist 2016

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