Construction is nearing completion on HOK’s ambitious Flame Towers project in Baku, Azerbaijan. The three glossy towers, designed for Azinko Development MMC with DIA Holdings as design and build contractors and Hill International as project managers, now lick the skies over Baku, their highly-reflective façade panels refracting the sunlight during the day and glowing from within at night.
Comprised of three individual volumes, the Flame Towers development has three separate uses embodied by the triplet of buildings. To the south is the main residential block, encompassing 130 luxury apartments on 39 floors. The tallest of the three towers, the apartments look out over the Caspian Sea with scenic views reaching far across Baku.
To the north is the hotel tower with 250 rooms and 61 serviced apartments on 33 floors, paired with the 33,114 sq m office tower to the west. Both buildings share the same stunning views as the residential volume and mirror its shape, their gracefully curved silhouettes inspired by Baku’s history of fire worshipping. All three towers have been anchored by a retail hub at the base which will serve both visitors and residents.
Due to complete early in 2013, the Flame Towers have already made their mark on the city. Rising high above the largely low-rise roofscape, HOK’s elegant new development is a bold architectural statement for the city. Barry Hughes, Head of Retail and Mixed Use at HOK and regular WAN AWARDS juror, details: “Our aim was for the bold form of the towers to create a unique focal point on Baku’s skyline and we were keen to continue that dynamic vocabulary into the interior spaces.”
He continues: “By creating a fluid boundary between the interior space of the pavilions and the exterior context, the retail and leisure spaces would serve as a natural connection between the towers and their different uses. Linking the scheme to its surroundings and thus reinforcing the existing urban context was considered critical from the earliest stages of the design process.”