Total 102.600m3 (above ground 86.850 m3/ underground 15.750 m3)
Office building for one or several tenants, 5 levels of office spaces and cafeteria with underground parking and retail on ground floor
W21-22 Office Building
White City, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2012
At the crossroads of cultures and at the cusp of international investment, Baku is quickly establishing itself as one of the main international centres in the Caucasus for finance, trade, communication and tourism. In line with other planned developments in the White City master plan, W21-22 will house one of Baku’s leading financial institutions. UNStudio’s aim was to develop a building that was flexible, but whose design also allows for peerless functionality as an office and as a bank. The result is a building that is designed from the inside out, giving maximum breathing space to its programmatic function. Visible from the exterior, but derived from its interior, the structure visibly resonates with its international ambition, drawing inspiration from the historical, geographical, artistic and architectural roots of Azerbaijan. Glass, metal cladding, mesh and wood present a mix of materials which mix contemporary architecture with local influences. The north facade consists of a tapestry of typologies moving both vertically up the building and horizontally around it. The pattern binds the building together while managing climatic conditions such as wind, heat and sunlight by using an array of archetypical façade elements, like a spiral, cassettes, lamellas, fins and cantilevering planes. Circulation around a large open void creates transparency while enabling diffused daylight and regulating fresh airflow. This central void creates an interlinking group of communication areas across office floors which provides continuous access to all levels, adjusts to the flexible needs of the resident company and establishes a strong network within the resident company. The airy, well lit garden also supports this network, and forms a ‘private’ domain between two office blocks.
W21-22 Office Building
UNStudio Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with Frans van Vuure, Filippo Lodi and Jan Kokol, Tina Kortmann, Roman Kristesiashvili, Wendy van der Knijff