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Nishita sree


Building type: Cultural Centre
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
Location: Baku,Azerbaijan
Client: The Republic of Azerbaijan
Area: 101801.0 sq. m
Project Year: 2013

Climatic conditions:
City is renowned for fierce snowstorms and winds.
Temperature range - 2C-30C
Max wind speed- 144 kmph.
Important tourist spot.
Scientific, cultural and industrial centre of Azerbaijan.
Backed by oil reserves worth nearly half a trillion
dollars, Baku is attempting to reinvent the country's
reputation by rebuilding the entire city.
Earthquake-prone area.

The design establishes a continuous, fluid relationship
between its surrounding plaza and the buildings interior.
Elaborate formations such as undulations, bifurcations,
folds, and inflections modify this plaza surface into an
architectural landscape that performs a multitude of
functions: welcoming, embracing, and directing visitors
through different levels of the interior. With this gesture,
the building blurs the conventional differentiation
between architectural object and urban landscape,
building envelope and urban plaza, figure and ground,
interior and exterior.

Fluidity in architecture was an idea taken from historical
Islamic architecture. They aimed to relate to that
historical understanding of architecture, not through the
use of mimicry or a limiting adherence to the
iconography of the past, but rather by developing a
firmly contemporary interpretation, reflecting a more
nuanced understanding. The project introduces a
precisely terraced landscape that establishes alternative
connections and routes between public plaza, building,
and underground parking. This solution avoids additional
excavation and landfill, and successfully converts an
initial disadvantage of the site into a key design feature.

To blur the boundary between building and ground,
engineers were tasked with assembling more than 9
acres of curved steel segments.
The 970,000-square-foot complex has a 1,200-seat
concert hall, national museum and library all under one
Defined by a 243-foot-tall continuously folding
structure, the building's seamless curves flows in one
solid surface
the floors ceiling and surrounding landscape, where
exterior walls blend and then disappear altogether into


If the surface is the music, then the seams between the

panels are the rhythm. Numerous studies were carried
out on the surface geometry to rationalize the panels
while maintaining continuity throughout the building and
landscape. The seams promote a greater understanding
of the projects scale. They emphasize the continual
transformation and implied motion of its fluid geometry,
offering a pragmatic solution to practical construction
issues such as manufacturing, handling, transportation
and assembly; and answering technical concerns such as
accommodating movement due to deflection, external
loads, temperature change, seismic activity and wind

To emphasize the continuous relationship between the buildings

exterior and interior, the lighting of the Heydar Aliyev Center has
been very carefully considered. The lighting design strategy
differentiates the day and night reading of the building. During the
day, the buildings volume reflects light, constantly altering the
Centers appearance according to the time of day and viewing
perspective. The use of semi-reflective glass gives tantalizing
glimpses within, arousing curiosity without revealing the fluid
trajectory of spaces inside. At night, this character is gradually
transformed by means of lighting that washes from the interior onto
the exterior surfaces, unfolding the formal composition to reveal its
content and maintaining the fluidity between interior and exterior.


The Heydar Aliyev Center principally consists of two

collaborating systems: a concrete structure combined with
a space frame system. In order to achieve large-scale
column-free spaces that allow the visitor to experience the
fluidity of the interior, vertical structural elements are
absorbed by the envelope and curtain wall system. The
particular surface geometry fosters unconventional
structural solutions, such as the introduction of curved
boot columns to achieve the inverse peel of the surface
from the ground to the West of the building, and the
dovetail tapering of the cantilever beams that support
the building envelope to the East of the site.

The space frame system enabled the construction of a

free-form structure and saved significant time throughout
the construction process, while the substructure was
developed to incorporate a flexible relationship between
the rigid grid of the space frame and the free-formed
exterior cladding seams. These seams were derived from
a process of rationalizing the complex geometry, usage,
and aesthetics of the project. Glass Fibre Reinforced
Concrete (GFRC) and Glass Fibre Reinforced Polyester
(GFRP) were chosen as ideal cladding materials, as they
allow for the powerful plasticity of the buildings design
while responding to very different functional demands



Space truss system is a light weight rigid
structure constructed from interlocking
struts in a geometry pattern.
Used to span large areas with few inferior is strong because of inherent
rigidity of triangles. The bending moment
are transmitted as tension and compression
loads along the length of each strut.


To deal with these extremes, engineers are cladding the cultural
center with double-layered panels made of glass fiber reinforced
polymer (GFRP).
Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete(GFRC) Is one of themost
innovative constructionmaterials which facilitatesunprecedented
opportunitiesfor counstructing complex curved structures.
It is a highly vesatile lightweight material endowed with
exceptional strength

The process starts by placing the
prepreg(fiber containing resin)in a
Then the prepreg is wetted by
injecting the resins into the closed
mould .
Later the resin is cured using heat
or pressure or both to improve its

Tensile : it has a high tensile sterngth and can withstand
large amounts of loads like wind and sesmic loads
Easy to use: The panels are integrated steel stud
frames ready to receivethe interior wall board, saving
the expense of exterior stud framing on
Low weight: The low weight of the GFRC panels (1216 psf) decrease thesuperimposed loads on the
buildings structural framing and foundation, thus
providing potential savings for construction costs.
Resistant to SaltWater, Chemicals, and the
Environment: GFRP is unaffected by acid rain, salts,
and most chemicals.

Can be Molded Into Complex Shapes: Virtually any

shape or texture can be produced.
Pollution repellent: GFRC pannels have a dust
repellent property which makes it an ideal material used
in a highly polluted city like Baku.
Low maintanence cost: as the structure is completely
white and surronded by oil refineries maitanence would
be a huge problem but this has reduced drastically due
to the GFRC panels.

GFRP panel installation takes place
without the need for an external
For metal framed wall cladding systems,
the buildings structural frame is erected
and then the GFRP cladding. On walls
where there is a wall structure behind the
panels, the walls are framed, sheathed
and a waterbarrier is installed before the
GFRP wall panels are erected.
Each panel is formed to match a unique
position along the constantly curving roof
and then firmly secured to each
neighboring panel.
In the end the building is covered in a
singular skin that wraps the entire building


Acoustical excitement starts up with the challenge

of solving out the acoustical defects related to
those mostly curvilinear forms and highly reflective
Inner galleries having reverberation times up to 10
s are aimed to be taken under within limits of 2.5s.
All the echo producing areas are treated with
absorptive material and an acceptable distribution
of reverberation times along frequency is attained.
This implies a requirement of target reverberation
time of 4 s at 125 Hz.

The role of sound isolation is mostly taken over by the

outer skin namely building shell.
The outer skin is composed of multiple layers. The glass
fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) exterior shell is
attached to the inner skin by a specific space truss
GFRC is not sufficient to provide sound isolation solely.
Besides, the existence of openings on the exterior GFRC
skin for water drainage results in poor airborne sound
insulation characteristics.

The huge volume and highly reflective fine finish gypsum

inner skin surfaces would result in excessive reverberation
and related problems if no absorptive material is to be
introduced in the interior design.
Alternatives are developed with high absorption
coefficient and minimum alteration from a white smooth
A resilient layer of cork used underneath natural stone
and poured concrete type floor finishes.
Besides, for keeping the auxiliary spaces and auditorium
away from the noise to be generated in inner galleries
resilient wall and ceiling constructions and corresponding
details are developed for inner walls and drop ceilings.

The absorptive treatment adopted in this alternative is white

colored acoustical stretched fabric with rock wool backing as a
ceiling surface, with 10cm air gap behind inside filled with
52kg/m density rock wool. Glass reinforced gypsum (GRG) inner
shell, interior wall and floor finishing materials are kept as in the


Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian

patriarchalbasilica(church), later converted into an
Ottomanmosque, and now a museum (Ayasofya Mzesi)
inIstanbul,Turkey. From the date of its construction in
537 AD, and until 1453, it served as
anOrthodoxcathedraland seat of thePatriarch of

Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of

Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of
architecture.It remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand
years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.
The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and
537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and was the third Church
of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been
destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus
and Anthemius of Tralles.

Justinian's basilica was at once the culminating

architectural achievement of late antiquity and
the first masterpiece of Byzantine architecture. Its
influence, both architecturally and liturgically,
was widespread and enduring in the Eastern
Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim worlds

The dome of Hagia Sophia has spurred particular interest for
many art historians, architects and engineers because of the
innovative way the original architects envisioned it. The cupola
is carried on four spherical triangular pendentives, an element
which was first fully realized in this building. The pendentives
implement the transition from the circular base of the dome to
the rectangular base below,restraining the lateral forces of the
dome and allow its weight to flow downwards. They were
reinforced with buttresses during Byzantine and later during
Ottoman times, under the guidance of the architect Sinan.

The weight of the dome remained a problem for most of the building's existence. The
original cupola collapsed entirely after the quake of 558; in 563 a new dome was built by
Isidore the younger, a nephew of Isidore of Miletus. Unlike the original, this included 40 ribs
and was slightly taller, in order to lower the lateral forces on the church walls. A larger
section of the second dome collapsed as well, in two episodes, so that today only two
sections of the present dome, in the north and south side, still date from the 562
reconstruction. Of the whole dome's 40 ribs, the surviving north section contains 8 ribs,
while the south section includes 6 ribs

Although this design stabilizes the dome and the surrounding walls and arches, the actual construction of the walls of Hagia Sophia
weakened the overall structure. The bricklayers used more mortar than brick, weakening the walls. The structure would have been more
stable if the builders at least let the mortar cure before they began the next layer; however, they did not do this. When the dome was
erected, its weight caused the walls to lean outward because of the wet mortar underneath. When Isidore the Younger rebuilt the fallen
cupola, he had to first build up the interior of the walls to make them vertical again.

Additionally, the architect raised the height of the

rebuilt dome by approximately six metres so that the
lateral forces would not be as strong and its weight
would flow more easily down into the walls. Moreover,
he shaped the new cupola like a scalloped shell or the
inside of an umbrella, with ribs that extend from the
top down to the base. These ribs allow the weight of
the dome to flow between the windows, down the
pendentives, and ultimately to the foundation.

Hagia Sophia is famous for the light that reflects

everywhere in the interior of the nave, giving the
dome the appearance of hovering above. This
effect was achieved by inserting forty windows
around the base of the original structure.
Moreover, the insertion of the windows in the
dome structure lowers its weight.