A plan for a new urban quarter for Baku, Azerbaijan, was launched this week by engineering and architecture firm Atkins.
The 221-hectare project targets one of Baku’s oldest industrial areas, known as Black City, and aims to create a modern business district to attract business and create jobs.
The area will be transformed into White City, modern city centre complete with new streets and public spaces, a commercial district, public transport systems and residential development.
Lead consultant Atkins worked with the Baku White City (BWC) project team to design the new urban quarter for Baku, which is intended to act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the city and the wider region by attracting investment and employment opportunities.
Designed to incorporate architectural diversity and integration into the city’s existing urban context, the White City development offers a carefully planned environment with a distinct character which should provide a vital boost to the local economy.
Atkins’ design director, Matthew Tribe, said, “Working in a challenging environment, our team of designers, planners and engineers has delivered a master plan that meets the ambitions of not only our client but of Azerbaijan itself.”
In addition to its master planning work, Atkins has designed two of the landmark buildings within the development. The 35,000m2 gateway building provides retail facilities on the ground and first floors, with boutique apartments and offices above, while The Crescent provides 62 apartments over 24,000m2.
Baku White City will include housing for more than 50,000 people, along with a new shopping mall and waterfront as part of its role as a leisure destination for the wider city. Ten urban districts will be created, offering residents a high-quality lifestyle combining living, working, recreation and entertainment all within a highly connected urban environment.
The city’s new transportation system will make White City easily accessible for residents and visitors to Baku.
BWC director Ruslan Sadikhov said, “Baku has its own long-standing urban planning traditions. The initiation of this project delivers a design which integrates these traditions with modern urban trends, while presenting strong investment opportunities.”