The fire of Azerbaijan

A Hotel, a residential building and other of offices make up a wonderful complex that burns the day and the night.

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Hi, do you know feels when lost a good business, and you discover that you was near it? Do you know this tragic moment in which you give with who (or what) had removed your great opportunity that cannot be repeated? I, Rodolfo, don’t know, and, in fact, isn’t one of my priorities to find out how it is, “au contraire” (I would say my cousin), I will continue avoiding that feeling.

But you do not think that the intolerance to the error is what I have, or the excessive predilection for myself, none of this, what happens is that they taught me well to choose the battle before we start. I will give an example related (clear) with my self-requirement from get an exquisite place where to design and build a vigorous building. A few years ago I was enjoying of Eurovision, in the place where, in a few days, will be held the first European games, but I will not speed up the narrative. The slowing is enjoyed, or as recounts Benito Pérez Galdós that the king Fernando VII said to his personal assistant: “Dress me slowly, I have hurry”.

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The Caspian Sea

In May of the year 2012, I was advising to a very good international investor about the possibilities of a country that has not stopped growing in the last five years, we were in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan. As the coincidences exist, you know it, was celebrated at that time the Eurovision Song Contest in which the Spanish representative, Pastora Soler, had one more than respectable position: the number 10. We was very badly at the beginning, because we could not reside in the Fairmont Hotel of the Flame Towers, all an architectural landmark in the city, since still missing almost a year for its inauguration, in compensation, in 2013, the Hotel Manager gave me the Royal Suite a week (with expenses paid, stuff from my last name).

I’ll be honest, I had many problems with the international investor, the best thing that has happened to me in life was discover the complex formed by the three towers where the Hotel is located, and wanted to devote more time to analyze the construction, this clashed with the intention of the employer, of how I resolved the situation I’ll talk about another day, the important thing is that I got my goal of course. But we go at the beginning, the developer of the complex was Azinco Development MMC who commissioned the design to the architects HOK team, specifically to Pierre Baillargeon.

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In an area of 28,000 square meters the designer developed three towers joined at their base. The three skyscrapers are based on the coat of the city and, therefore, in its history.  The work on the complex began in 2007 and finished in 2012, cost some 320 million euros, and it have become the three tallest skyscrapers of Azerbaijan. Its towers are three large flames, distributed between them as if it will try the three vertices of a triangle, one to the North, one to the South and the last in the West.

The South Tower, the highest with 190 meters of wingspan, is destined to housing with 130 luxury apartments and views over the city of Baku and the Caspian Sea that make extreme sports the Spa and the gym. The North Tower, the Fairmont Hotel, reaches 160 meters in height and is distributed in 36 floors with 318 rooms and 61 apartments. The hotel entrance has a height of 17 metres and is decorated with a chandelier with crystal drop shape and six metres high (I love it). The West Tower, no less important, is nearly 140 meters tall, is destined to offices with a whopping of 33,000 square metres of flexible space for business offices.

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The curvilinear facades of the three buildings are covered in crystals of colours orange and blue, to mimic the colours of the flames. The structure of the building is concrete reinforced, giving rigidity to the set. At the base, the buildings joined by a podium of 78 meters in height, which is distributed in three levels and has various uses for the users of the complex, whose roof is glazed. The complex has been awarded with the international prize MIPIM 2013, the international award in the real estate world.

At the top, with a curious needle peak termination, lies one of the most conflictive areas due to gusts of winds that support in these latitudes. Their last 30 meters are made with a different structure that the rest of the building structural system: steel frames with a form of a watermark that, in addition, creates a spacious place. Dlubal Software GmbH software was used for the calculation of this network. This framework consists of three sides curved that it find on top, the tubes are of 610 mm in diameter and their sections are biaxial curved (in both directions).

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The contractor Day Holding Azerbaijan gives us more data from this mega-structure: its final surface is 251,000 square meters, have been used 165,000 cubic metres of concrete and 1,500 tons of steel; the facade occupies an area of 64,000 square metres, have been distributed 611 kilometres of low voltage cables and, most importantly, 1,198 vehicles occupy their parking.

But continues reading, comes the best! The Traxon Technologies company has been responsible for the introducing of more than 10,000 lights led (always led) on the facades. It are placed so that not are distinguished from the outside, an intelligent control allows that it interact forming different pictures, the most common, the flames moving, also can be formed individual animations for each building or giving life to three buildings. The main problem he faced was the variety of sizes in crystals, the different lengths of modules of lighting can reduce to 16 (a success).

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But we return to the beginning of the article, where I promised you an example of my prudence in the decision-making. Recently I had an idea for my future construction in the Boyuk Zira Island, opposite the city of Baku, but the confluence of large architectural formats made me fear that the island was predestined to other use, as almost always I was right. They intend to make a Master Plan called Zira Island, in which give shape to eight of the geographical places the most emblematic of Azerbaijan, the architects responsible are the BIG Danish group and the idea is to build a city of one million square meters with energy independence, using the thermal solar panels, photovoltaic cells, the recycling of waste water and rain water harvesting and a wind farm the island will be completely independent and will have a zero carbon expulsion.

As you may understand, I wasn’t going to spoil the design of the architects by my plans. Bye bye.

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