Danish engineering consultants Ramboll and architect firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) have designed a carbon-neutral master plan for a resort and residential development on Zira Island near the capital city of Baku in Azerbaijan, writes financial daily newspaper Børsen. The project was presented last week at the Mipim fair, an international market for real estate professionals and investors, which is being held annually in Cannes, France.
The Azerbaijani government wants to develop 1,000,000 m2 floor space on the island, which was used for military activities during the Soviet era. The local project developer Avrositi Holding, which has given the commission to the Danish companies, has part of the financing in place, and the aim of the presentation in Cannes was to attract additional investors. Construction costs alone are estimated to reach USD 3bn.
Bjarke Ingels of BIG told Børsen: "What we propose with Zira Island is an architectural landscape based on Azerbaijan's natural landscape. This new architecture not only recreates the iconic silhouettes of the seven mountain peaks, but even more importantly creates an autonomous ecosystem where the supply of air, water, heat and energy will largely be provided in a natural way."
The master plan is designed as a CO2 neutral solution comprising 16 offshore wind turbines, heat pumps and solar panels.
Lars Ostenfield Riemann, director of Buildings & Design at Ramboll says in a company press release: "Zira Island will be an important step in the future of urban development in the Caucasus region and Central Asia. With the help of wind, sun and [combustible] waste, the island will produce the same amount of energy as it consumes. In a society literally built on oil, this will serve as a showcase for a new way of thinking sustainable planning."