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Central Bank of Azerbaijan 

The radical design for the Headquarters of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan in Baku represents a strong symbol for power and success.

Sketch by Wolf dPrix


Coop Himmelb(l)au

Project info

The design of the Central Bank of Azerbaijan in Baku takes the economical high-rise typology as a starting point. The East-West oriented slab and its polygonal geometry rises then into a sculpturally twisted volume, glazed from top to bottom and open to its surroundings. The client asked for a symbolic building, open and light, to replace the hermetically-sealed structure of the former Headquarters.

Situated on the Heydar-Aliyev Avenue, the 164 meters tall tower becomes a highly visible landmark of the capital city, a significant point of reference in the Baku skyline. Two other iconic buildings of modern Baku are located further South-West, on the same main road: the Baku Convention Center designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au (2015), and Zaha Hadid’s Heydar Aliyev Center (2012).

A transparent, full-height atrium enhances the design, thereby generating a new high-rise typology that transforms the traditional office block into a vibrant place to work.

The atrium functions as a vertical city” with platforms functionally connecting spaces across the atrium and dividing it horizontally into urban-like neighborhoods. Numerous short circuit” stairs and ramps connect several of the office floors across this ample interstitial space, creating informal meeting lounges and circulation patterns, similar to streets and passages of a city. Additionally, hanging gardens and daylight reflecting cones bring light and vegetation into the microclimate of the Vertical City. The atrium thus unfolds as a pleasant and dynamic communication forum, providing stunning views of the city of Baku and the Caspian Sea. 

As an economically optimized building, the Central Bank of Azerbaijan is equipped with a state-of-the-art sustainable energy concept, employing solar gain, passive sun protection, and natural ventilation for cooling and heating, as well as natural daylighting.

Project insights