Project team:

Client: Azinko Development MMC
Architect: HOK Architects
Structural engineering: Balkar Mühendislik
Lighting design: Francis Krahe & Associates, Inc., Los Angeles, CA/USA


Products applied:

LED fixtures: Traxon Technologies
Lighting control: e:cue Lighting Control Engine fx (LCE-fx) running Emotion, and Video Micro Converters (VMCs)

05. Jul 2013

Fire works
FlameTowers in Baku/AZ

Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: DIA Holdings

Every city needs a skyline. Some skylines are more striking than others. The new skyline of the capital of Azerbaijan is now unforgettable. TV newscasters reporting on politics, business, culture, sport or song contests fight for viewers’ attention with a backdrop as dramatic as Baku – especially at night. FlameTowers work as well to promote the country and its capital as real fire did in the past.

The Persian word “Āzar” means fire, and “Pāyegān” means guardian or protector. Not surprising therefore that the recently completed residential, office and hotel complex in Baku was designed to resemble flames. Added to this is the fact that Azerbaijan internationally is an important supplier of oil and natural gas, so the BakuFlameTowers reflect the history, the economy and the country’s new independent, forward-looking and high-tech image.

The BakuFlameTowers stand distinctly, 190 metres tall, among the horizon of mid-rise historic buildings. They are located on the top of a hill on the Caspian Sea overlooking BakuBay and the old city centre. The 39-storey residential tower — the tallest of the three — sits to the south, accommodating 130 luxury apartments with stunning views. The hotel tower is located on the northern corner of the site and consists of 318 rooms over 36 floors, and located on the west side of the complex, the office tower provides more than 33,000 square meters of flexible, commercial office space.

 Lighting design

A design competition was organised to find a lighting designer who could create a low-reso­lution media façade to display dynamic, yet subtle video content, while integrating lighting fixtures into the existing architecture. Francis Krahe & Associates, Inc. won and began to develop a detailed concept. While the initial design called for fixtures to be applied to the exterior façade of the towers, the lighting designers quickly realised they could not puncture the outer skin of the buildings without affecting the smooth quality of the exterior surfaces. Additionally, because of the extreme temperature variations in Baku, the façades would expand and contract with the heat, further eliminating the possibility of an exterior-mounted solution. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 88.

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