EACH YEAR, 6 million travellers pass through Heydar Aliyev International Airport in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku. Now, as they enter the airport, travellers are met by 16 cocoons made from interwoven panels of oak plywood.
The cocoons create tranquil little islands in an otherwise hectic environment. The garlic bulb-shaped rooms house cafés, a champagne bar, a beauty salon, a bookshop, a play area and a left-luggage area.
The structures were made in Ankara and erected on site. The architectural practice behind the design is Autoban, which has its headquarters in Istanbul. Architect Seyhan Ozdemir explains that they wanted to break the conventional norms for the look of an airport. The goal was to create a warm, calm and welcoming environment. According to Ozdemir, wood, stone and textiles were key materials in achieving this feel. The travelling public’s response to the garlic bulb cocoons has been overwhelmingly positive.«