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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