A Baku analysis of constructivism as a revolutionary architecture

  • Farida Rustamova

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


This thesis focuses on the architectural period of constructivism, which was the shortest period in architectural design and the architectural style that had the existing region (USSR). Moreover, constructivism is the product of a historical period of socialist revolutions in Imperial Russia. The city I opted to analyse adds more insight to the research topic by contributing details about the cultural background. Baku city, where ancient architecture and Islamic traditions were fundamental aspects of urban development and architecture, became an essential and unique epicentre of constructivist architecture.

As a child raised in Baku city, which offers many historical layers in terms of its urban planning and architecture, I am ceaselessly astounded by how the various historical influences blend to form the image of the entire city. Based on these interests, I decided to analyse the most critical period in Azerbaijan’s political and cultural past. The period of constructivism caused ideological changes and affected the works of the architects during the 1915-1930 years . By chance, Baku city became an eminent example of the constructivist style. The architecture of the town was fundamentally reimagined during these temporal shifts . New suburbs were constructed, and industrial needs were fulfilled through urban development. However, the cultural background of the city has always stood in opposition to modernist and socialist concepts, making this city substantially more exciting and intriguing to study. The examples I have opted to study during the research are associated with quite different stories. The projects involving the ‘Intourist’ Hotel, Dinamo Sports Society, Publicity Palace, Karabakh Hotel, and Mammadyarov district have differing architectural scales, functions, styles, use timelines, and stories regarding their adaptation to Baku city’s image. Subsequent analyses have demonstrated to me that adaptation is critical in architecture; based on this approach, I raised questions about the adaptive reuse of the architectural period of constructivism and analyses of the usage outlay of these architectural projects; the question of reuse has been addressed and formulated based on the needs of today’s users.

In conclusion, I have proposed my ideas about preserving revolutionary influences in architecture while making the examples recognizable and joyful to reuse adaptively.
Date of Award13 Feb 2024
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorYun Gao (Main Supervisor) & Patricia Tzortzopoulos (Co-Supervisor)

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