Georges Candilis was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, and grew up in Athens, Greece, where he studied architecture and met great French architect Le Corbusier in the early 30s. He became one of his closest workshop collaborator and worked on the construction of La Cité Radieuse, Le Corbusier’s masterpiece in Marseille, developing some architectural principles like planned urbanism and « habitat au plus grand nombre » as logic responses to the growth and the changes of individual housing. Founding member of the Team X (or Team Ten), he then specialized with his partners Alexis Josic and Shadrach Woods in large scale projects for affordable and inclusive housing in the 50s like the Mirail in Toulouse or The Free University in Berlin, as well as projects in Casablanca. His rational and democratic approach of architecture led him to design a modular plastic camping unit known as « Hexacube » and a whole holiday resort in Port-Leucate, Les Carrats, with Finnish interior designer Anja Blomstedt (who also worked with Charlotte Perriand at the time). They had an idea of cheap and very simple furniture that are easy to disassemble and transport, consisting of simple pieces of solid wood or plywood held in place with aluminium angle brackets. The pieces were made and assembled by the Sentou workshops, and only a few hundred pieces of this rare edition remain nowadays.
The Heydar Aliyev Center is a 619,000-square-foot building complex in Baku, Azerbaijan designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid and noted for its distinctive architecture and flowing, curved style that eschews sharp angles.
The Heydar Aliyev Center represents a fluid form which emerges by the folding of the landscape’s natural topography and by the wrapping of individual functions of the Center. All functions of the Center, together with entrances, are represented by folds in a single continuous surface. This fluid form gives an opportunity to connect the various cultural spaces whilst at the same time, providing each element of the Center with its own identity and privacy. As it folds inside, the skin erodes away to become an element of the interior landscape of the Center.