The Flame Towers, Baku – The new Flame Towers in Baku, Azerbaijan, designed by HOK International, were instantly popular, but posed several challenges to their makers.
Construction was halted at one point as engineers battled Baku's frequent gale-force winds while also taking into consideration the area's seismic activity.
Architect Barry Hughes also wanted to protect Baku's historic architecture, while satisfying his client's brief. "You go, 'I'd really like to not screw this up, because it is really beautiful,' [but] you're trying to do something new and aspirational to represent the future."
Beneath the towers is a retail space with a honeycomb roof (as this CGI shows). "A lot of our buildings are pragmatic, developer-led buildings, but we're trying to do something spiritual and sculptural," says Hughes.
Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp – The building Hughes most wishes he had built is Le Corbusier's Notre Dame du Haut chapel in Ronchamp, France.
Completed in 1954, Hughes admires its freeform abstraction, and the processional route that visitors must take to get there.
GB Le Corbu Ronchamp greenery – The processional route that visitors take to get there is typical of Corbusier, says Hughes, who was inspired by the Parthenon.