of the Oil Baron Period
This beautiful residence
was built by Aghabala Guliyev who earned his wealth, not as an
Oil Baron, but as the "Flour Mill King" of Old Baku.
Skibinski designed the two-storied building in what might be
called the National Romantic style. Constructed in 1899, the
building features ornate stalactite arches above the windows
on the corners of the second floor, a design reminiscent of the
ornamental façade above the entrances of the Shirvan Shah
Palace (14th century) in Baku's "Inner City" (Ichari
The Architects' Union Building and interior hallway (left)
was once the residence of the Baku's "Flour Mill King".
During the Soviet period, this residence was subdivided into
apartments. As is true of several other buildings that were subdivided
in a similar way, the major artistic features still intact today
are located in the communal stairway leading to the upper floors.
To see them, enter the doorway on the side of the building, then
climb the stairway where you will find elaborate ornate ceilings
the first floor, the building looks out onto an inner courtyard
from a corridor lined with a row of windows. While the hallway
is flooded with light, the inner rooms are protected both from
the intense heat of the summer and the severe driving cold winds
of winter. The inner courtyard allows women and children to be
outdoors while guaranteeing their safety and security. Such features
are typical of the indigenous architectural style in Baku.
Today, the building primarily houses the Architects' Union on
the main floor although the basement has been converted into
a bar and restaurant and the second floor has been beautifully
restored and converted into a commercial office.
(6.4) Winter 1998.
© Azerbaijan International 1998. All rights reserved.
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AI 6.4 (Winter 1998)
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