The rise of international architecture competitions has given western architects an opportunity to make their mark on eastern Europe and Central Asia [...]
Regardless of record-high fees, some of their projects are being cancelled half-way through or take a good decade to build. But the ones that are brought to life often become some of the most recognised works of its authors. For starchitects the miles between eastern Europe and Central Asia is the place where dreams and ambitions come true. — calvertjournal.com
Baku is gaining international recognition as a centre of cutting-edge architectural design thanks in part to a major award given recently to London-based architect Zaha Hadid for her Heydar Aliyev Centre. The Azerbaijani capital’s new look has plenty of local fans, but also some detractors. [...]
The latest wave of protests occurred in February and March, prompted by a government announcement that 40,000 downtown residents would be evicted to make way for a “green zone” [...]. — theguardian.com
Human Rights Watch said that, along with the Crystal Hall, stage of the 2012 Eurovision song contest, and the park-cum-shopping mall of the Winter Garden, the centre is one of the city's many oil-fuelled grand projects that have seen local people evicted by force. — theguardian.com
Answer: Baku, Azerbaijan, where the government is spending an estimated $6 billion a year on architecture projects. As we wrote in February, Azerbaijan’s leaders want to make their capital city a destination for the rich and fabulous. The latest example: the Heydar Aliyev Center designed by Zaha Hadid, for whom it offered the rare opportunity of nearly total design freedom. Every roof and ceiling panel is different, Hadid says. — nytimes.com
When completed in 2015, Hotel Crescent will stand on the banks of the Caspian Sea, its 33-stories housed in a vast, down-turned crescent. A sister project was proposed called the Full Moon Hotel that would have brought something resembling the Death Star from "Star Wars" to the Caspian coastline. — edition.cnn.com
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