The Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre designed by Iraqi born architect Zaha Hadid is to open in September: the new centre, on a site measuring over 111,000 sqm consists of a library, museum, and conference centre situated in Baku, Azerbaijan. The design gives a focal point to a new neighbourhood designated for residents, offices, and commercial centres.

The engineers of the project, Werner Sobek, aimed to provide low exterior maintenance, by focusing on easy-to-clean external cladding materials because of the local heavy air pollution. As CEO of Werner Sobek Thomas Winterstetter explained: “There are oil refineries and such nearby, and the cladding is white. That’s why we are using glass fibre reinforced plastic, which is dirt-repellent. In general, all our building systems are chosen to have high durability and a long lifetime and low maintenance.” The cladding is an integral part of the structure’s undulating roofs.