Broadway Malyan opens Baku base to create 16-strong global office network / by rachel

Global architecture, urbanism and design practice Broadway Malyan has become one of the first international practices to open a permanent base in Baku, Azerbaijan, just as its ‘28 May Shopping Mall’ has opened as the country’s largest shopping centre, featuring a food court, 1,200 seat cinema and restaurants, with the practice having delivered the interior design for the 23,000m² centre. Managing Director Gary Whittle said: “The office opening is the latest chapter in our successful international growth strategy. It will result in a 16-strong global office network, enhance our global reach and ability to partner clients across mature and emerging markets, with projects in 41 countries over the last year.

“It will reinforce the ability of our 500 design experts, unrivalled in diversity, to serve clients across all types of markets and sectors in the delivery of world-class and fully-integrated cities, places and buildings. It also reflects our commitment to be close to clients and long-term client partnering, as well as our distinctive client focus, with over 85% of income from repeat business.”

The new 30-strong permanent office, formed by the merger of project offices, will be led by Director Kevin Leahy. It opens as the local team is celebrating critical milestones on projects being delivered for long-standing client PASHA Construction, a full service development and construction company and part of the PASHA Group.

The team is about to oversee topping out on the first tower of its Port Baku Residences scheme which is one of the largest developments in the country. The practice is lead consultant on the major mixed-use scheme, which involves a total built up area of 375,000m² comprising three 32-floor towers with 872 high-end residential apartments, three floors of 30,000m² commercial retail space and 2,000 car parking spaces over three levels of basement. It will complete in late 2013.

The team has also recently celebrated the completion of projects including the interior design of the luxury JW Marriot Absheron Apartments, featuring 15,000m² of residential units, penthouse apartments, VIP penthouses, residential lobbies and concierge facilities. As delivery architect it has also seen the completion of the 8,500m² gymnasium inside the high profile Port Baku Towers scheme.

Following a concept arena design for the National Gymnastics Arena, by the practice and Pattern Design, Broadway Malyan has been appointed by PASHA Construction to deliver a larger 9,000 seat arena. The design will symbolise Azerbaijan’s strong gymnastics heritage and take inspiration from the ribbon of the rhythmic gymnast, featuring three ribbon louvres in the Republic’s national colours to control daylight and solar gain and create views. At night dynamic lighting will make the arena appear as three ribbons fluttering over a stone plinth. The scheme is a key part of the Azerbaijani Olympic Committee’s bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics.

The practice’s public realm team has also been commissioned to deliver a public art strategy for the Port Baku district of Baku. Its brief involves the design, project management and procurement of new public art, retrofitted into pedestrian areas to instil a sense of character and meaning. The scheme includes totems, wind screens, pillars and sculptural signage and will complete in early 2013.

Over the past decade Azerbaijan’s construction sector has increased in size seven fold, with significant increases in new housing provision, two major roads under construction and the reconstruction and construction of the Black City under the Baku White City project. Other projects being advanced in the country include the ‘Dream Island’ complex, an international seaport complex, new terminal at the Heydar Aliyev International Airport and a 14 km-long bridge over Baku Bay.

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