By Nigar Orujova
Have you ever dreamed of visiting and even riding a flying saucer? In Baku, you may experience this at the futuristic Heydar Aliyev Center.
With its alien look, the center is one of the first things that amaze people arriving in Azerbaijan by plane. This magnificent building has turned into pilgrimage destination not only for tourists but also for most locals.
A bright white pearl of modern Baku is a masterpiece of Zaha Hadid, Iraqi-British architect.
The overall shape of the center, which opened in the capital on May 10, 2012, resembles a wave-like ascension from the ground towards the sky followed by gradual descents.
As a brilliant piece of post-modern architecture, the building’s shape is an eternal cycle, connecting the past with the present.
Billions of selfies were made in the park of this center, which is also remarkable, descending with funny paths and murmuring fountains from the building to a cozy cafe.
If you think that the center attracts people only with its exterior, then you should definitely come in to see how harmonious lines connect its interior design with it. The sense of being inboard of UFO multiples inside of the center.
The building houses a conference hall, a gallery hall, and a museum. The center expands the relations between countries and people through its projects.
Frequent exhibitions and concerts here aim to support cultural development and introduce world cultures to Azerbaijan, as well as Azerbaijani culture to the world.
The building won London Design Museum award in 2014 and many awards are yet to come, as it has become famous worldwide.
For those, who will visit Baku in these days, the center can offer a photo exhibition by Adrian Steirn, a recognized photographer, about the wild nature of Africa.
Moreover, here you can learn about the whole country through the “Mini Azerbaijan” exhibition presenting scale models of the country’s landmarks, with information regarding each building’s background, architectural style, interesting facts and details.
Another exhibition about the country “Azerbaijan Treasures: through the wave of history” demonstrates unique peices. This show reflects the inexhaustible natural resources, centuries-old history of Azerbaijan and its cultural heritage.
To learn about contemporary art development in Azerbaijan, have a look at “Fly to Baku” exhibition. Each of the works presented here are extraordinary in their own way. The exhibition presents the works featuring a unique combination of a peculiar artistic style, untraditional thinking and spirituality.
The three-floor center also has a museum which describes the history of Azerbaijan and different stages of Heydar Aliyev’s life and work, displaying photo and video materials, as well as some unique exhibits relating to the national leader.
At the end of your trip to the center, you can enjoy another exhibition presented in the park. “The Gazelles” exhibition presents models of these graceful animals painted over by artists from various countries. This project is aimed to draw attention to the environmental issues.
A voyage on a flying saucer was never so informative and impressive, was it?
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz