Baku, which in old Farsi means ‘where wind beats’, is subject to high wind loads throughout the year, and as the city lies within a seismic zone, the project’s structural engineers faced a multitude of challenges.
By calculations force of wind F is 3.72KN
The aim was to create a large column-free space giving visitors the opportunity of experiencing the fluidity of the interior. To achieve this, vertical elements are absorbed by the envelope and curtain wall system. The building is principally comprised of two systems which work together.
1) A concrete single movement joint structure
Reinforced concrete is mainly used to construct shear walls as the partition to separate main spaces and to support the space frame. It also used to construct the footing of the building. As Earthquakes are one of the biggest threats to construction in Baku, the building must be reinforced by massive 150-foot-long concrete piles buried below the Earth’s surface to withstand an earthquake measuring up to magnitude 7.0.
2) The spatial framework system allows the construction a free-form structure and was also designed to save time throughout the construction process, while the substructure was developed to incorporate a flexible relationship between the rigid grid-work of the spatial structure and the seams of the free-form exterior cladding.
These seams are obtained through a process of rationalization of the geometric complex, the use and the aesthetics of the project. Fiberglass reinforced with concrete or polyester were chosen as the ideal cladding materials, as they allow for the powerful plasticity of the building’s design, while responding to a diverse range of related functional requirements: the Plaza, transition zones and the building’s wrapping.