Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A R C H I T E C T U R E    to    i n s p i r e    ALL

 Text: Divya Agrawal

City life is challenging & invigorating yet chaotic and mechanical to an extent. After a recent daybreak to the outskirts for a trek, I felt rejuvenated. As I lay gazing at the night sky teeming with stars, far away from city lights, curiosity struck & technology came to aid. ‘Google sky maps’ helped out with the names of some brightly glowing stars & formations :)

Though the post that follows is about architecture, talking about stars I can’t resist sharing this bit about the Universe from Stephen Hawking’s 'The Universe in a Nutshell'. A 'Snippet' ;) that I’m sure all of us have observed, but perhaps rarely questioned.

The observation…that the night sky is dark, is very important. It implies that the Universe cannot have existed forever in the state we see today. Something must have happened in the past to make stars light up a finite time ago, which means that the light from very distant stars has not had time to reach us yet.”   

Simply put, the night sky, by virtue of it being dark, is evidence that the Universe was created, a finite time ago..

With this prelude to Nature & Technology, I bring to you today a masterpiece by acclaimed London based architect, Zaha Hadid. Located in Baku, Ajerbaijan and designed to be used as a Cultural Centre, the Heydar Aliyev Centre is a captivating amalgam of these two elements.

Image: DesignBoom

Image: Hufton + Crow
With curving forms & ornamental patterns of traditional Islamic Architecture as design inspiration, the architect has chosen to interpret the same in a firmly contemporary vocabulary – one that aspires to “express the sensibilities of Azeri culture and the optimism of a nation that looks to the future” Project Architect Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu

Image: Iwan Baan 

Reminiscent of forms from nature,  the building curves gracefully, rising from a beautifully landscaped plaza.


Image: DesignBoom

The spaces ensconced within are equally eclectic – an auditorium fashioned out of back lit ribs, seemingly suspended viewing balconies, gravity defying curves, to point a few…

Image: Interior Rendering of the Heydar Aliyev Centre
The building seamlessly integrates function, form & aesthetics. A concrete structure combines with space frames to create the skeleton. This is clad with plastic materials that allow for an effortless flow of the exterior form.

Image: DesignBoom

A masterpiece that will inspire many of us, for sure!

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