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Welcome to Baku

The interior of Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by Turkish firm Autoban overturns the conventions of airport design.

Welcome to Baku


May 27th, 2015

Airports, alongside shopping centres and casinos, are amongst the world’s most reviled architecture typologies. Too many are still cavernous spaces devoid of any kind of human experience – time spent in them a necessary price to pay for the conveniences afforded by air travel. The recently designed Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Baku, Azerbaijan, by Arup and with interiors by Turkish firm Autoban is a notable exception.


The brief from Azerbaijan Airlines called for a design that reflected Azerbaijani cultural values, evoked a feeling of warm hospitality and offered a contemporary interpretation of the airport terminal.

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“The main idea was to overturn airport conventions of cavernous spaces and impersonal experiences,” say Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Cağlar, the duo behind Autoban. “How can we break away from the typology of conventional airports that overwhelm passengers with their scale, standards and technology?” The answer was found in a palette of surprisingly natural finishes not often found in airports, such as timber, and a human scale that sits in dramatic contrast to the vast environments typically associated with the typology.

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Read the full article in the Hospitality issue of Indesign magazine, out on June 7, 2015.

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