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
From earlier today: Zaha Hadid wins the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year Award 2014While almost 250 homes were cleared to make way for Hadid's building, (questions have also been raised about the rights of those who built it. In 2010, while the project was under construction, the global...
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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