A few of architects, masons, masters, mosaic decorators who created in the 19th and early 20th centuries are Ustad Taghi (Shamakhi, architect; mausoleum complex Yeddi gunbaz — "Seven cupolas", Shamakhi graveyard, 1816-17), Haji Maharram (architect; fences of the Juma mosque in Baku, 1822), Mirza Gadim Iravani (mosaic decorator; wall mosaics of the Sardar palace, 1850s), Suleyman (calligrapher; mosque inscription of Amirjan village, Absheron, XIX century), Mirza Mehdi (Ganja, calligragh; mausoleum stone inscription in Rahimli village graveyard, present Goranboy region, XIX century, Zeynal and Rajab (architect; mosque in Bilgah village, Absheron, 1839), Zeynalabdin (Baku, architect, mosque in Bina village, Absheron, 1844), Mirza Jafar (Shamakhi, mosaic decorator), Ustad Ganbar Garabaghi (Shusha, mosaic decorator), Safar (master Ganbar Garabagi's brother; mosaic decorator), Master Gurbanali (Shamakhi; mosaic decorator), Shukur Ganbar oghlu (mosaic decorator — all participated in decorative design and reconstruction of Shaki khan palace, XIX centur), Jahangirbay Aliyev (architect; general layout of Agdash, 1910), Zirvarbay Ahmadbayov (engineer-architect; Tabriz mosque in Baku and etc.).
The first stage of the architectural development in Azerbaijan during the Soviet period was related to the construction of the working settlements of Binagadi, Rasulzade, Bakikhanov, Montino, Mammadyarov around Baku). Working settlements in Absheron were the first examples of young Soviet architecture.
The general layout the Greater Baku — one of the first general layouts in the former USSR, envisioned the construction of new districts. The transportation infrastructure was improved and measures were taken to resolve housing problems in Absheron. The railway station linking Baku with the petroleum districts was built in 1926. The buildings constructed along the former Soviet Union's first railroad had quite interesting architectural solutions in them. The Sabunchu station building, constructed at that time (architect N.G.Bayev), is one of the most interesting examples. The construction of the Mammadyarov settlement — one of the first housing estates of that time, was of the Soviet importance.
The first graduation of the Faculty of Construction of the Polytechnical Institute of Azerbaijan was in 1929. Young architects S.Dadashov and M.Useynov started to create action and developed numerous projects within a short time. Among the most attractive of their projects are the Bayil factory (present maternity hospital), new building of the Azerbaijan Industry Institute (currently known as the Oil Academy of Azerbaijan) — both 1932, the House of Fine Arts Workers, several housing buildings, the Pedagogical Technical School in Gazakh — all in 1933.
The works regarding the planting of trees and gardens in Baku began in the 1920s.
M.A.Sabir's statue was replaced by the present monument (sculptor J.Garyaghdi, architects G.Alizade, A.Ismayilov). Construction of the new seaside boulevard (extension of the old boulevard) in the 1930s had an influence on the improvement of the central part of the general plan of the city.
Big public houses' completion and greenery expansion, provided in general layout of 1924-1927s, are typical for Baku architecture development of this period. One of the important measures in the implementation of the general layout was the construction of the territory uniting the 28th May street and the Bulbul avenue. The Nizami Theatre and the former building of the Ministry of Food Industry of the Republic of Azerbaijan (both in 1937-1939), built upon projects by S.Dadashov and M.Useynov, draw attention for volume-space structure and architectural solutions. They used forms and styles that were typical for antique Greek and Renaissance architecture.
A number of schools were built in Baku and other cities of Azerbaijan during 1933-36. Four-storied buildings, constructed upon projects by S.Dadashov and M.Useynov in Baku and other towns of the country, distinguished for the expressiveness of architectural solutions. Classic forms along with national architecture traditions are typical for these projects.
The tendency towards the adaptation of new architecture to national architecture characterizes Azerbaijan architect's creative search of that time. Joint activity of S.Dadashov and M.Useynov took a leading place in the development of this direction.
Project on reconstruction and consequent development of Ganja (S.Godjamanli and A.P.Slobodyanik), approved in 1939, was one of the largest general layouts of the republic towns after Baku one in the Soviet period. New industrial buildings, schools, institutes (the Pedagogical Institute building named after Hadji Zardabi, S.Dadashov, M.Useynov, 1940), cinemas, club and hotels, bridges over the River Gandjacay were built after the establishment of Soviet rule. Projects of Nizami Gandjavi's statue was worked out in connection with his 800th anniversary (sculptor F.Abdurrahmanov, architects S.Dadashov, M.Useynov) and erected after the Second World War (1946; the USSR State Award, 1947). Thorough reconstruction works were carried out in Nizami mausoleum, projected in the type of traditional Azerbaijan mausoleums, the structure of poet's mausoleum was much more changed (architect F.Imamguliyev) in connection with his 850th anniversary in 1980-1990s.
The general layouts of Yevlakh, Khankandi and Shaki were also developed in the 1930s. The construction of schools was in the focus of attention at that time.
The activities in the architectural sector encouraged the establishment of the Department for Architectural Works under the Azerbaijan SSR SPC in 1944. The necessity for the construction of new industrial centres was motivated by the rapid development of economy in Azerbaijan. The establishment of Sumgait and Dashkasan buildings in Azerbaijan began in the mid-40s, followed by the construction of Mingechevir.
The projecting and construction of the Neft Dashlari (Oil Stones) - steel pillar settlements in the open sea - heralded the beginning of a new era in post-war architecture. The Neft Dashlari was built in connection with the discovery of rich oil fields in the Caspian Sea in 1949. This extraordinary settlement includes dwelling houses, cultural objects, overpasses, etc.
The rebuilding of the Baku city centre continued together with the creative activity of Azerbaijani architects in the 1950s. Reconstruction works were carried out in the city centre, where a number of advanced buildings were erected. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan was built during 1950-1960s. The buildings of the Baku branch of V.I.Lenin's Central Museum (1954, 1955, H.Majidov), M.F. Akhundov's Republican Library (1960, M.Useynov), the Azerbaijan State Theater of Drama (1960, G.Alizade, M.Mammadov), Central Department Store (1961, N.Kangarli) and others have also enriched the architectural image of Baku.
The first high-rise dwelling houses were constructed in the mountainous area of the former Sovetsky street (presently — N.Narimanov avenue). The construction of the plateau at H.Javid avenue was one of the largest measures in the architecture practice of the 1950s. The complex of Azerbaijan Republic Academy of Sciences (1951-1966s, M.Useynov), dwelling houses in H.Javid avenue caused reconstruction of the Azerbaijan Polytechnic Institute building (dated to 1931-1933, S.Dadashov, M.Useynov) and appearance of districts with good amenities.
Public and cultural-housing destination buildings were constructed in other towns as well. Construction of culture buildings in Dashkasan, Mingachevir, cinemas, shopping centres, kindergartens and schools in Baku and region centres became mass. The construction of the Musical Dramatic Theatre in Nakhichevan (1961, A.Ismayilov, H.Madjidov) laid down the basis of the city centre, as envisioned in the general layout. Administrative building with longish structure constructed in the centre of Ganja (1960, F.R.Leontyeva), occupied the superior place.
The measures on the liquidation of wastefulness in projecting and construction of buildings, as well as the expansion of industrial bases, heralded the beginning of a new stage in the architecture of Azerbaijan. These measures included the building of numerous apartment houses in free areas and necessitated radical changes in the project procedures. The wide-scale construction of identical buildings took the place of individual projects. This was how large housing estates were built within a short time.
The new period in town-building and architectural development of Azerbaijan began in Azerbaijan in the 1960s. Baku, the capital of the Republic of Azerbaijan, grew into a large capital city during these years.
This was also the time of the erection of wonderful architectural ensembles and advanced buildings, which defined the city image. Most of them were projected at the personal initiative and under the strict control of Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Alirza oghlu Aliyev.
It should be noted that Heydar Aliyev made an outstanding contribution to the development of the general layout of the Baku city. He determined the future fate of the Baku city by meeting the modern town-building requirements. The industrial buildings built in and around Baku, the infrastructure and transportation system, were the basis of the current independence and economic growth of Azerbaijan.
Several large public buildings and monuments were erected during the late 1960s — early 1980s. The State Circus (A.Ismayilov, F.Lcontycva), The Republic Palace (V.S.Shulgin, B.I.Ginzburg, E.R.Melkhisedekov, engineer K.Karimov), hotels "Baku" (H.Madjidov), "Garabag" (E.RMikhisedekov), "Azerbaijan", "Moscow", "Absheron", new building of Chief post office (the projects of the last 4 buildings by M.Huseynov, with aid of N.Akundova and A.N.Oltetcianan), the Republic Statistics Unit (T.Khanlarov and etc.), the Baku Railway Station (Sh.Zeynalova, Y.N.Kozlov, Kh.Rahimova), building of the Baku city Nariman district Executive Power (T.Khanlarov), building of the State political parties and public movements archive (Sh.Zeynalova, Y.Qadimov), "Nigah sarayi" ( Marriage palace) (I.Aliyev) Ceremonial palace complex "Gulustan" (H.Amirkhanov, N.Hadjibayov, T.Sharinski, F.Rustambayova, N.Ismayilov, K.Karimov; the Azerbaijan SSR State award, 1982), the first line of Sharq Bazari shopping centre (Eastern market) (U.V.Revazov, P.I.Yarinovski), Track and field athletics manege (Z.Quliyeva), building of the Baku city Nizami district Executive Power (T.Khanlarov, H.Mukhtarov), building of the President Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan (T. Abdullayev), etc., improved the architectural view of the city. Such large public buildings as Sport palace (T.Abdullayev, O.Isayev, Y.Qadimov, T.Khanlarov), the second line of the Sharq Bazari complex (Eastern market) (U. Revazov, P. Yarinovski), 18-storeyed Calculating Center (T. Khanlarov, H. Mukhtarov) and etc. draw attention in respect to size-space and town-building solutions.
Architect Rasim Aliyev, the designer of the apartment building for the heads of foreign states in one of the wonderful corners of Baku city in this period, can recall that Heydar Aliyev personally was coming there at least twice a week to take interest in problems and difficulties of the construction works. He gave instructions to architects upon room placing according to requirements of international diplomatic activity as early as in the project period. Delivery of necessary construction materials from foreign countries was possible out thanks to Heydar Aliyev's attention and managerial abilities. Heydar Aliyev even chose sorts of trees for park zone around the building. To be in short Heydar Aliyev's architectural talent and international experience are seen in the form of organic synthesis in the construction of this apartment.
The necessity of subway construction appeared due to the difficulties in transport communication between separate districts of Baku in the result of the speedy expansion of the city. It is interesting that underground construction had been already provided in the general layout variant of 1932 of Baku. The first sector of the first line (5 stations) of the Baku subway was opened on November 6 1967. Baku was the fifth republic, owning underground transport, in the former USSR at this time.
The construction of the first line of 12 stations of the Baku subway was over with the opening of station "Nizami" on December 31 1976. The second line of 4 stations, was launched in 1985, and the third line of 2 stations in 1989.
The Baku subway is very interesting due to the high level of its architectural arts, quality of construction and the synthesis of architecture and fine arts.
Yusif ibn Kuseyr and Momina Khatun mausoleums — the examples of rare arts created by Adjami Nakhichevani, whose 850th anniversary was celebrated in 1976, were salvaged and reconstructed. Reconstruction works were carried out in other monuments of the country, Barda mausoleum, Diribaba mausoleum in Maraz, Hazra and Kalakhana mausoleums were restored. Besides, intensive and planned works on monument reconstruction are carried out in Shaki, Shusha, Shamakhi, Ordubad, Baku and etc. The Shirvanshahs palace ensemble, an example of Azerbaijan stone architecture of Middle Ages in Baku, is particularly important. Restoration and effective usage of old public and religious buildings in Ganja are the result of architecture explorers' hard works and efforts. Bala Bahmanli, Gizilbajili, Ozan, Zarrabi mosques, caravanserais and other monuments are thoroughly restored.