On 7th March, under the framework of the Italian Design Day 2019 in the World, DRA&U in collaboration with the Union of Architects of Azerbaijan presented their joint project on “Baku Urban Regeneration”. The project aims to create “a smart district for the future city”, where urban, architectural and social transformations take place inside a historic, traditional and cultural contest. It represents a great opportunity for the historical and architectural restoration of cultural heritage of Baku city and refers to a core area of the city of Baku, between Azerbaijan Avenue, Mirza Aga Aliyev, Nabat Ashrubekov and Nizami streets.

On the opening of the conference, Ambassador of Italy in Azerbaijan Augusto Massari stated the importance of the project which represents a great opportunity of collaboration between Azerbaijan and Italy. “It is a good example of friendly collaboration between Azerbaijani and Italian creativity” – underlined Ambassador Massari – “regeneration is a word of a deep meaning: it recall us about the importance of innovating by getting inspiration from the tradition”.

In his presentation President of Union of Architects of Azerbaijan Elbay Gasimzada focused on historical background of the area by defining the masterplan and indicating the buildings of particular value. Giving visual examples, Mr. Gasimzada defined which buildings should be kept in order to preserve cultural heritage of the city, as well as those which require a careful restoration and façade reconstruction.

Giorgio Pini, Principal Architect of DRA&U presented general masterplan of the future district, with three main typologies of the houses. Arch. Pini outlined the project to represent an urban growth based on respect for the territory by depurating the existing building fabric, promoting conservation and restoration of the most valuable buildings, redeveloping urban areas through demolition and reconstruction by maintaining seismic improvement and energy sustainability. He also emphasized the goal of the project to promote a rebirth of the territory by keeping “untouched” the history and culture of the neighbourhood. In his speech, arch. Pini gave an importance to the balance between past and future to be established through the Urban Regeneration Project, which aims to reduce land consumption by placing a constraint on out-of-scale projects that would substantially change the skyline of the city.

During the event, Arch. Armando Rossi, President of Co.Re (School of Advanced Education in Conservation and Restoration) pointed out the restoration and conservation principles looking at the more specific examples across Italy. Eng. Francesco Squasi concluded the conference by explaining engineering aspects of the future smart district.