Rising unflinchingly in pure white against the tedious backdrop of Baku in Azerbaijan is the stunning Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre designed by the celebrated Dame Zaha Hadid. With just over 4 buildings built, at the age of 53 Hadid received the Pritzker Prize in 2004, becoming the first woman to not only make her presence in the male dominated industry so clearly felt but also lauded. Ten years hence Hadid’s projects continue to stun, shock and slowly win over her even rather blunt critics. She describes her work as contemporary, organic, innovative but most importantly, inspired by nature. Just as is the Heydar Aliyev Cultural center.
The structure symbolizes the beginning of an ambitious plan to trigger off a cultural revolution in a country that has only just begun a radical process of shedding it’s soviet past!
Straight from the horse’s mouth:
The other day my cousin decidedly declared that he would travel for cultural experiences that is to watch a play or a show rather than for architecture. Built as a cultural center I hope this piece of architecture does necessarily change his mind!