Capital Icon

Baku Crystal, a 51-storey, 225-metre high mixed-use development would be the second tallest skyscraper in Azerbaijan. It has been designed with the avowed intention of creating an iconic symbol for the capital city, located on the western shores of the Caspian Sea.

Tabanlioglu’s competition entry was conceptualised as a multi-facetted ‘glass’ crystal ‘emerging’ from the ground plane, an analogy that is particularly apt as Azerbaijan’s economic growth is largely driven by the mineral resources found within the country’s magmatic and ore formations. Baku State University is renowned for its research on crystallography, mineralogy and geochemistry.

The built form is envisaged as an extension of the landscape and ascends as a series of independent shard-like elements from a fragmented ground plan arranged around a public plaza. The programme includes a hotel with retail and residential components and replaces an existing hotel on the site that will be demolished. The glass-encased tower protrudes from the centre of the sculptural form with an observation platform at the summit. There are panoramic views of the city and the coastline to the east.

Glass and white marble are the predominant materials employed in the design and the complex geometry is a response to the location at the highest point in the city and at an important intersection in the urban transport network.

The Baku Crystal is a dynamic form when viewed from different angles and dramatic interior and exterior lighting are designed to enhance the ‘crystal’ form at night so that its irradiant surface will create a highly visible landmark on the city skyline.

Site Area: 50.000 m2
Construction Area: 45.535 m2
2006 / baku