Baku's newly completed Heydar Aliyev International Airport terminal seems almost futuristic, with its softly coloured landscape dotted with large organic-shaped cocoons covered in latticework.
Designed by Turkish style gurus Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Caglar, founders of Istanbul design practice Autoban, the new interior responds to a clear brief: 'When the Azeri airport authorities visited the CIP lounge we'd designed for Turkish Airlines in Istanbul, they wanted the same feel and idea of shells inside a bigger structure,' recalls Özdemir. 'They added that all passengers should feel like they are VIPs - that there should be no such thing as "public areas".'
Working around the idea of comfort and privacy, the duo designed cocoons that bring the human scale back to the core of this 1,000 sq m project. They also created areas of different ceiling heights to break the internal volume of the immense terminal. These help to define the spaces where passengers can rest, lounge, enjoy a spa treatment or play with their children in specially dedicated pods.
Clad in oak veneer or covered with convex latticework, the protective bubbles sit among trees and custom-designed furniture, as if they were pavilions staged in an imaginary garden. Constructed from natural materials, they trigger the senses and intrigue. In order to anchor their design inside the vast airport, Özdemir and Caglar applied rigorous geometry to their design, using a motif of triangular patterns to shape the cocoons, the floor and the overhead lighting system.
The terminal's comfortable, efficient and luxurious environment sets the tone for the lounging and shopping to come, while enhancing the high-end travel experience.