First Baku International Architecture Award Competition ended

By Sabina Idayatova

The 1st Baku International Architecture competition dedicated to the 90th anniversary of national leader Heydar Aliyev ended on November 3.

The competition was organized by the Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Ministry and the Azerbaijan Union of Architects.

The competition's award ceremony was organized at the "Four Seasons" hotel.

Addressing the event, Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev talked about the importance of the international competition.

He said that thanks to the wise urban policy of national leader Heydar Aliyev, great achievements had been made in the field of architecture and urban planning in the country.

"Today, architecture is one of the development priorities of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev," the minister said.

According to Garayev, the key objective of the competition was discovering new idea for the development of architecture, more expressive urban planning in the design of buildings, and composition and solution-space research, and achieving maximum diversity of ideas and projects for further implementation with the assistance of the International Union of Architects and the Architects' Union.

It was decided that the competition be held every two years.

Chairman of the competition's Jury and the Secretary General of the International Union of Architects Michel Barmaki highlighted Azerbaijan's rapid development and the unique and beautiful architectural examples found in Baku.

The international competition achieved the set goal as a result of the close collaboration of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the International Union of Architects, Barmaki said.

The other foreign jury members were former President of the International Union of Architects Vassilis Sgoutas and VPs of the International Union of Architects Thomas Vonier and Hayder Ali.

Chairman of the Board of the Union of Architects Elbay Gasimzade, who was also a member of the jury thanked ,Garayev on behalf of the Union and presented an award to Barmaki.

The event continued with a concert performed by artists.

The nominations included the one for the best project implemented in the field of public buildings architecture, the best project in residential architecture, the best interior design,
the best unbuilt design, the best project in landscape architecture, the best project in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of buildings, and the best publication in the field of architecture.

The winner was awarded with a diploma of the corresponding category and a money award of 4,000 manats.The second place winner received a diploma and a money award of 2,500 manats , and the third place winner got a diploma and a money award of 1,000 manats. The winners were also presented with symbolic statuettes.

Meanwhile, an exhibition was opened in the framework of the competition on November 1.

Speaking about Azerbaijan's architectural history at the event, Garayev highlighted the significance of protecting the examples of ancient architecture in the country.

According to the minister, the examples of ancient and modern architecture gave a special beauty to Azerbaijan.

Important works are being done by the government with the aim of protecting and delivering these historical monuments to the future generations.

"Today Azerbaijan is experiencing a new development period of architecture," he said.

The minister said that some 250 projects from 40 countries were presented at the exhibition, and nearly 100 of them were the works of Azerbaijani architects.

"It is very gratifying for us. We believe that this competition will contribute to the growth, formation and recognition of a new generation of architects," the minister noted.

Welcoming the guests, Jury member Gasimzade said that the architecture of Azerbaijani cities was transforming Azerbaijan day by day, becoming even more attractive and delightful with its uniqueness.

"The main goal of the contest is the identification of new ideas for the implementation and development of architecture, the search for the most expressive and original solutions in the design of residential and public buildings, their interiors, and landscape design, and the preservation of our heritage while architectural monuments are preserved and existing buildings are renovated," Gasimzade said.

Barmaki said that he was in Baku last year, and was fascinated with the beauty of the Azerbaijani capital.

"Architecture of Baku and Iceri Sheher fascinated me and I was particularly struck by how carefully Azerbaijanis refer to their heritage. Hope, the first Baku International architectural competition will contribute to the preservation of this ancient heritage and the implementation of new projects in urban development," he said.

Then the event participants get acquainted with the exhibition.

The guests speaking with satisfaction of being in Baku, the city which brings together Eastern and Western architectural style, highly-appreciated the works carried out in the capital.