Contemporary architecture in the cities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Florence.
by Tomas Koolhaas - documentary film: REM
Architects: Peter Thomas Hornung and Elsa Katharina Jacobi
Location: Büschelhof, Germany
The site of ‘House Hafner’ is located in the countryside next to a forest in Southern Germany. Situated at the end of a blind alley to benefit from the views of the woods and valley. A very high level of privacy is provided by the natural protection of the environment, which makes an open living configuration possible. The slight remodeling of the topography with a given height difference of three meters inspired the choreography and orientation of the building.
The residential building is designed for a couple with an independent area for guests and is divided into two parts: one introverted area, articulated by an arrangement of smaller openings following the surrounding typology of the neighborhood; its counterpart is an extroverted zone facing the forest and the beautiful view of the valley. The exterior space is interpreted as an extension of the open living area.
The abstracted shape of the gabled roof draws an analogy to the surrounding roof typologies, which is common in Southern Germany. The transformation to an open cubic design made a maximum size of openings possible, as well as the visual merging of living and nature.
As part of the former Soviet Union, the urbanism and architecture of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan on the Western coast of the Caspian Sea, was heavily influenced by the planning of that era. Since its independence in 1991, Azerbaijan has invested heavily in modernising and developing Baku’s infrastructure and architecture, departing from its legacy of normative Soviet Modernism.
Zaha Hadid Architects was appointed as design architects of the Heydar Aliyev Center (Heydər Əliyev Mərkəzi) following a competition in 2007. The Center, designed to become the primary building for the nation’s cultural programs, breaks from the rigid and often monumental Soviet architecture that is so prevalent in Baku, aspiring instead to express the sensibilities of Azeri culture and the optimism of a nation that looks to the future.
Project name: Heydar Aliyev Center / Heydər Əliyev Mərkəzi.
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan.
Start of project: September 2007.
Completion: May 10, 2012.
Client: The Republic of Azerbaijan.
Program: Mixed-use cultural center Procurement Design-build.
Total floor area: 101,801 m2.
Site area: 111,292 m2.
Auditorium capacity: 1,000.
Photography: Iwan Baan, Hufton + Crow, Helene Binet.