Heydar Aliyev International Airport

Project details
Architect: Autoban
Town: Baku, Azerbaijan

In Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, the  65,000 square metre terminal at Heydar Aliyev International Aiport features 16 bulb-like timber ‘cocoons’ designed by globally acclaimed Istanbul-based architectural studio, Autoban.

Constructed from American Harwood's American white oak, the wooden cocoons have transformed the airport into a space of discovery. Each cocoon varies in size and houses cafes, kiosks, bars, a spa, a bookstore, and a play area, among other amenities.

American white oak trees are classified as sustainable and are distributed throughout most of eastern United States in mixed hardwood forests, accounting for 33% of the American hardwood resource. The trees are tall, and their leaves are rounded and turn brown in Autumn. 

In Heydar Aliyev International Airport, the wooden cocoons exist among the airport’s open terminal space and blur the boundaries between art and architecture, and comfort and practicality.  As unconventional as the timber structures are, they are typical of Autoban’s idiosyncratic architectural approach, and for more than a decade, the studio has taken a humanistic perspective to design, crafting spaces rooted in cultural, social and geographical narratives.

Each year more than 6 million visitors pass through the airport, enjoying Autoban’s memorable gateway to the country. The use of natural materials (wood and stone) produces a comfortable space whilst showcasing the benefit of an imaginative and human-centred approach to architecture for hospitality.

To view more about the airport, click here

All image credits: American Hardwood