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Following the completion of the landmark international terminal at Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport in Azerbaijan, the new ultra-compact surface Dekton® by Cosentino was selected as the material of choice for a striking outdoor flooring commission at the airport’s main entrance. Overseeing the flooring and the interior design throughout the terminal was globally acclaimed Instanbul-based design firm, Autoban. The concept was inspired by traditional Azerbaijan hospitality, and the desire to make travelling through the airport as enjoyable as possible for passengers.
The new terminal building is characterised by its unusual triangular shape with rounded edges, designed to reflect the Azerbaijan Airlines’ logo; a reference which is repeated throughout the premises and influenced the design of the outdoor flooring. Autoban envisioned an eye-catching pattern created with different coloured equilateral triangles measuring 1.5m on each side in order to achieve a 3D effect of raised cubes.
To make this possible, it was important to find a material that was manufactured in large enough pieces to ensure that the large triangular slabs could be cut without risking the material cracking or creating unwanted seams within the triangles, which would ruin the desired clean, geometric effect. Due to its superior technical characteristics and the large slab format in which it is produced, Dekton® offered the perfect design solution.
Developed after 22,000 hours of research, Dekton® is made from a complex mix of the raw materials that are used to manufacture glass, porcelain and quartz surfaces, and then placed under ultra-compression to form the final product. This results in a material with a variety of unique benefits for commercial applications such as its ability to resist heat, stains and scratches and withstand high volumes of traffic when used as flooring. This was an essential factor when choosing the flooring for the airport entrance in Baku, considering the high volume of foot traffic expected outside an international terminal. Safety of pedestrians in such a busy area is key, but Dekton’s® high resistance to abrasion creates a long lasting floor that will never need resurfacing or refinishing.
Another benefit of using Dekton® was the aesthetic appeal and the low maintenance required. The design concept demanded a material in a solid, uniform colour with a natural look and slate finish, which could also be produced in two lighter shades to create the contrasting triangle pattern. Sirius proved to be the perfect colour for this challenge, and two bespoke, lighter shades were also developed specifically for this project, illustrating the level of pigmentation control that can be applied during the manufacturing process. This attention to detail resulted in a product with an exceptional level of colour stability that will not fade over time. In addition, Dekton® is highly resistant to both ultra violet (UV) light and heat, making it perfect for outdoor applications such as the intricate entrance façade at Baku International Airport as it will not degrade over time.