29th May 2008

Baku 2016 Bid Committee presents architectural designs for sport venues

The internationally acclaimed planning and architectural practice AS&P - Albert Speer und Partner GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) - is currently engaged in defining and expanding on the Venue Concept presented in the Baku 2016 Bid Book. The main objective is to validate a sustainable and exemplary ecological planning concept. This relates not only to the remediation of seriously contaminated areas (e.g. the former Bibi-Heybat oilfield), but also the integration of ecological components into the architecture of the sports facilities. A pre-eminent role is played therein by factors such as energy saving and the employment of sustainable materials. It also includes the development of an architectural language appropriate to the staging of future major international sporting events.
At this stage of work the progressive development of the Venue Concept is a pivotal task. The possibility of timely implementation independent of the current Olympic Bid is being investigated for a number of sports venues. Initially the spotlight is focused on the design and construction of an Olympic-sized Aquatic Centre and Multifunctional Gymnastics Complex. The funds required for planning and realising these two venues have been set aside in the national sports facilities development budget. For this important planning assignment, AS&P can draw on its extensive international expertise in the master planning of mega events and the design and construction of sports facilities.
The Olympic Park, comprising 11 sports facilities, will be located on the former Bibi Heybat oilfield site. The artificial landfill created for crude oil exploitation will be transformed into spacious urban parkland with the Competition Venues embedded in the newly modelled terrain. The National Aquatics Centre and the Gymnastics Complex will be situated at Azizbekov roundabout at the northern entrance to Baku city centre, adjacent to the Azizbekov metro station. A 40-storey hotel tower will occupy the corner plot and landmark this Olympic Venue.
The predominant architectural motif will be a floral pattern developed from the famous, traditional Azeri carpet design. The attractive ornament will be duplicated and applied to the plantings of landscaped areas, pavements of plazas and boulevards and the facades and roofs of the sport facilities. In all, the pattern will create a calmness and continuity of design that embraces all venue ensembles.
The venue construction costs for the Olympic Park and the Azizbekov Complex add up to an estimated US$ 630 million.
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