Baku Tower, a multi-functional skyscraper
ANNVIL has designed the interior of the 51-storey-high Baku Tower skyscraper in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, as well as developed the high-rise’s business model and sales strategy. Reaching almost 69,000 m2 in size, the multifunctional business centre is able to accommodate more than 6,000 staff and visitors at the same time.
Baku Tower is one of several high-rise buildings that have filled in the skyline of Baku over the past decade. Intensive construction of high-rise buildings has concentrated on Heydar Aliyev Avenue, a major city thoroughfare that connects the central airport with the city centre by way of six lanes of traffic heading in each direction. Baku Tower is located in the middle section of Aliyev Avenue, about 10 km from the city centre and 4 km from the coast of the Caspian Sea. Given the location’s considerable distance from the city centre and its status as a new-construction area, the infrastructure adjacent to the tower is currently in a developmental stage and focuses primarily on motorist convenience. ‘In a sense, this situation hinders communication between the tower’s occupants and city residents. To compensate for this, we’ve created a self-sufficient “city within a city” concept that will provide the tower with comprehensive urban functions and services,’ says designer Anna Bates. She adds that this ‘city within a city’ has an open structure that facilitates interaction not only among the building’s residents but also between the building’s residents and the people who live in the area. Based on research results, Baku Tower’s business concept is grounded on the theory of Third Space, which follows the social space approach devised by sociologist Henri Lefebvre – a constantly changing, informal everyday environment where different social groups meet, interact, form relationships, and strengthen a sense of community. ‘It is a new type of social environment in the city that stimulates the formation of relationships, discussions and discoveries. Third Space has an open and flexible approach that benefits both the work environment and private objectives,’ Bates continues.
ANNVIL has also developed a business model and sales strategy for the tower. ‘Our primary focus was on functionality and effectively adapting it to different types of target audiences and price categories. In general, the target audience can be divided into three groups: the first are the employees of the businesses located within the tower; the second are tourists and the people who live nearby who will be visiting the public areas of the tower; and the third group consists of foreigners who will be using the coworking spaces in the tower. Our goal is to address as diverse an audience as possible and one that is spread out among various income levels. It was equally important to strike a balance between public areas – such as shops, restaurants, the viewing platform, various services and restricted areas – and private areas such as offices and staff canteens. The goal of Baku Tower is to become a crossroads where its employees and residents meet with casual passers-by,’ concludes Bates.
Conforming to the functions of a business centre, most of the tower’s 51 floors – that is, 36 of its floors – have been designated for different types of offices. A public viewing platform with panoramic views of Baku and the Caspian Sea is found on the building’s top floor, 276 m above ground level. One floor below this lies an open terrace with a rooftop garden. Both of these upper floors are connected to the two floors below them, which contain a restaurant, lounge area, and karaoke bar. In descending order, the next 36 floors contain various offices. The top two of these floors, i.e. those closest to the viewing platform, contain Premium Class offices, which are followed by two floors of A-class offices, and then several floors containing various classes of multifunctional offices; two of these floors are designated for coworking spaces. Positioned amid the office floors are several floors that feature conference rooms and auditoriums of different sizes, the largest of which has a room capacity of 150. A grab-and-go-type cafe for office workers is located on a separate floor. The tower’s two lower floors consist of a ground-floor entrance and lobby that are linked to the second-floor shops and various services, which include a hairdresser, bookstore, child daycare centre, and an exhibition gallery. The tower also has two underground floors, the top one featuring a public restaurant with an outdoor terrace as well as a spa and sports complex, while the bottom-most floor contains a spacious parking garage and areas for servicing, storage and communications. A detailed ‘Guideline Sales Catalogue’ has been specially developed for both A-class office floors. It contains six different possible configurations for each floor based on the variables of size, function and design.
Construction of Baku Tower, designed by the Turkish architectural firm Mazeron Mimarlık, began in 2014. After its commissioning in 2020, the skyscraper is now the tallest building in Azerbaijan and significantly complements the glorious architectural ensemble of the capital.
Given that Baku Tower lies between two large motorways, there were three fundamental issues that had to be addressed: firstly, improvement of the pedestrian infrastructure; secondly, creation of a functioning outdoor space that comfortably connects to the indoor space and the two below-ground levels of the building; and thirdly, achieving a visually attractive view that is visible from various heights and that can be enjoyed by both visitors who are outside in the green zone as well as by people inside the building. To achieve this, the landscape architectural plan has been divided into several levels interconnected by stepped terraces. In individual areas the landscape design follows the ‘parterre’ style, a geometric system of dividing garden beds so that they form patterns and shapes that resonate with the oriental motif of the tower’s architecture.