Azerbaijan State Museum of Modern Art

Baku, 2012-2014 (Breschistudio Associati)

Alberto Breschi, Claudia Giannoni, Niccolò Bassilichi, Gianluca Chiostri, Ilaria Vannini, Livia Ballan, Palma Pastore



The complex of the Azerbaijan State Museum of Art, which is the object of this proposal, is the largest art museum in the country, and together with the adjacent building which is also active as a museum, is fully inserted into the urban context of the city of Baku, in an area overlooking a strip of the Eastern coast of the Caspian Sea. The building mirrors all the stylistic canons of the late 19th century Neoclassicism, both in terms of the layout and of the way in which the facades are distributed and decorated. The building, with an enclosed layout around an internal one, is set on the slope that descends to the Sea and has two symmetrical entrances on the side which faces the street. The construction has two levels in addition to a mezzanine level. The back of the complex, along the south-west front, faces an adjacent lot, property of the museum as well. Along the north-west side, between the building which is the object of the intervention and the one currently in function as a museum, stands a new block, thus creating a unity that was not present before. The key points of the project are conservation and valorisation, understanding with these two terms the double intention of a careful restoration of the complex, together with a necessary innovation and re-functionalisation, not only from the technical and technological points of view, but also, and especially, from the point of view of perception and of its image. The project maintains the memory of the past intact, but is projected at the same time into the contemporary era, accepting the challenge which consists in becoming a moment of communion between history and new life, a role that the community seems to want to bestow to this building. The philosophy of the project is based upon a complete restoration of the valuable elements (both interior and exterior, decorations included) and on the valorisation of the building as a whole. Based upon these considerations, the restoration project assumes two features, and therefore two different intervention methodologies that are defined as:
Area A: Conservative restoration interventions
Area B: Rehabilitation and reinterpretation interventions, and insertion of new volumes.
The result is made possible thanks to the participation in the project of some of the most well-known restoration professionals in Florence (one of the most important art-cities in the world), who have been active in the field for a long time, both in Italy and abroad.

Area A: Interventi di restauro conservativo
Area B: Interventi di recupero e reinterpretazione, inserimento di nuovi volumi.
Il risultato è reso possibile grazie alla partecipazione al progetto di professionisti del restauro, fra i più noti rappresentanti della tradizione di Firenze (una delle città d’arte più conosciute del mondo), lungamente attivi in tutta Italia e all’estero.