Urban coast line of Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, is the site for Coop Himelb(l)au’s Chess Academy. The sculptural design of this landmark building is dynamic, and due to its spiral form it is oriented both towards the Caspian Sea and the city. Lifted from the ground and floating over the pier, the edifice is a visible icon for the Chess Community of Azerbaijan.
The almost moving, shimmering building of the Academy facilitates Multi-functional Hall, suitable for diverse activities such as chess tournaments, exhibitions, trade and fashion shows. Hundred meters long bar and restaurant are attached to the main hall, offering generous, continuous view to the sea. The Chess Federation and the Chess School are located in the upper part of the building, along with an exquisite luxury hotel for members and visitors.
Shimmering façade of the Academy has operable windows and variable louvers. In order to promote the activities in the building, the façade facing the City side is equipped with a large digital LED screen, providing an insight into the building for the public. Aiming to create the pleasant outdoor surrounding for the visitors, the architects created an artificial waterfall that tumbles down to the small pond, leading the users to the vertical circulation of the Main Entrance.
The bright interiors of the Academy building reflect the manner of the façade – polished and shiny, they provide the building with the great exhibition space, clean and neat, and non-invasive – interior spaces are flexible and neutral, so they can foster various events under the same roof.