World Architects Visiting AUAC: “Baku, the work of your graduates, can also be called an architectural museum”

Jose Louis Cortes (Mexico), the President of the International Union of Architects and Deniz Incedayi (Turkey), Divya Kush (India), Giuzeppe Cappochin (Italy), Kevin Bingham (South Africa) - members of the Jury of the International Union of Architecture, and the 6th Baku International Architectural Competition, visited the Azerbaijan University of Architecture and Construction (AUAC) on October 5th. Professor Elbay Gasimzadeh, the Chairman of the Union of Architects of Azerbaijan and the head of the Department of Architectural Design and Urban Planning of AUAC attended the meeting with guests.

Gulchohra Mammadova, the Rector of AUAC, Doctor of Architecture, received the guests and gave extensive information about the university. Emphasizing that our country has a hundred-year tradition of higher education in the field of architecture and construction, the Rector spoke about the formation of AUAC. Professor Gulchohra Mammadova noted that AUAC, created in 1975 on the personal initiative and persistent efforts of the great leader Heydar Aliyev, was the largest higher education institution in its field in the South Caucasus at that time: “Today, preparation of professionals in all areas of architecture and construction is carried out at our university. Currently, we have about eleven thousand students, more than fifty thousand of graduates, and there is no doubt that these numbers will increase in the coming years. This is related to the development of construction and architecture in our country. In general, let me note that the rapid construction works that have been carried out in our country over the past twenty years, and the liberation of our occupied lands over the past three years, have significantly increased the demand for architects and civil engineers.” 

Professor Gulchohra Mammadova also spoke about the systematic work carried out in relation to the internationalization of the university. The Rector noted that AUAC, which is a member of the Association of World Universities, has close cooperation relations with the most progressive higher education institutions in the world in the field of architecture and civil engineering: “Among the universities we cooperate, the majority are higher education institutions of Turkey, Italy, France, Spain and CIS countries. We are also carrying out modernization work using our international relations. For example, the specialty of “Architecture” is accredited by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and no other higher education institution in the post-Soviet space has achieved it in the field of architecture. Based on our agreement with leading universities on Double Degree Program, our educational programs have been renewed and modernized.” 

Emphasizing that the formation of practical skills is given priority in personnel training, as well as in education, the Rector spoke about the cooperation of AUAC with a number of local and international organizations, including the International Union of Architects. Professor Gulchohra Mammadova noted that the participation of teachers and students of AUAC in the World Congress of Architects, their communication and contact with famous architects is ensured: “Two of our teachers and five students took part in the last congress held in Copenhagen. We have participated in previous congresses and will continue this process.”

In his speech, Professor Elbay Gasimzadeh drew attention to the ancient Albanian temples in Azerbaijan and told the guests about the research of Professor Gulchohra Mammadova. Elbay Gasimzadeh noted that most of those temples had been under occupation and were subjected to by Armenian provocations: “Albanian and Christian architecture in Azerbaijan was researched and presented to the world by Davud Akhundov, the late Professor. Professor Gulchohra Mammadova continues these works as his biggest follower. I believe that our architectural monuments, which were forged in our territories liberated from occupation, will be restored to a high level by our professional architects under her leadership and returned to their original appearances.”

The President of the International Union of Architects, Professor Jose Louis Cortes from Mexico, expressed his gratitude for the meeting and noted that Azerbaijan cares about architecture, especially about education in the field of architecture in the country. The President of the International Union of Architects noted that a good attitude towards architecture in our country is heartwarming and is a harbinger of great successes to be realized in the near future. 

Jose Louis Cortes also spoke about the research he conducted in different countries of the world, his studies on the development of architecture, and noted that he was open to cooperation with professors and teachers in the specialty of architecture of AUAC. 

Deniz Injedayi, a member of the International Union of Architects, a professor of the Mimar Sinan University of Fine Arts of Turkey, pointed out that he had information about AUAC and the cooperation of his university with AUAC. He noted that his close acquaintance with AUAC made a good impression about the university and created new prospect for cooperation. 

Guiseppe Cappochin, a member of the International Union of Architects and the President of the prestigious Barbara Cappochin Foundation for the development of architecture, noted that he had high impressions of AUAC and the development of architecture in our country: “I know this university has a high level of connections with Italian architectural higher education institutions establishments. This is gratifying. My visit to Azerbaijan and acquaintance with AUAC impressed me greatly. I believe that we will be able to further develop our relations.”
Divya Kush, a member of the International Union of Architects, a professor at the Indian Institute of Architecture, expressed his love for Azerbaijani architecture and called Baku an architectural museum: “We were informed that most of the buildings in the city were designed and built by your graduates. In almost every part of the city you can find different examples of architecture.

Baku is the handiwork of your graduates, can also be called an architectural museum. I think that your university has made a great contribution to the beauty of Baku, and I congratulate you on your success.”

In his speech Kevin Bingham, a member of the International Union of Architects, an architect from South Africa, the director of the company “FGG Architects Inc.” noted that conditions and creative environment established for education in the field of architecture at AUAC attracted his attention. He spoke about his projects, research and best practices in the field of urban planning, and also pointed out his interest in cooperation. 

After the meeting, the guests accompanied by the Rector Gulchohra Mammadova and faculty members of the Department of Architecture, got acquainted with the material and technical base of the department, teaching laboratories, students’ coursework, and sketches of projects implemented by teachers and students at different times. After the meeting, local discussions were organized and opportunities for foreign architects to cooperate with the faculty were discussed.