An eye-catching project is taking shape in Baku. It features three curving towers ranging from 31 to 39 stories, rising from a podium with an extensive roof garden. The towers will be shield-shaped in cross section. One tower will house luxury apartments, another a hotel and the third, offices. The design by HOK is inspired by Azerbaijan’s tradition of fire worship. Baku is an active seismic zone. The excavation is seven stories deep and required a bored pile retaining wall and foundation piles up to 50 m long. Winds sometimes reach 120 km/hour, requiring tower cranes to be shut down. DiA Holding, Istanbul, is the design-build contractor. Hill International is the project management consultant for the owner, Azinko Development MMC. The $350-million project is expected to finish in 2011.

Flame Towers in Seismic Zone
Photo: HOK