Urbanism & Modern architecture in Baku - Azerbaijan

Baku has a really impressive range of architecture. From the traditional old city to the out of proportion Flame Towers, it is hard to understand where the city is going in terms of urbanisation. Here are a few photos from my "Crude Gentrification" project about some of the craziest and more modern part of the city's architecture.

The series is available for editorial usage with my agency , click the link here

Crude Gentrification in Baku | Azerbaijan

Dominated by the flame towers, the city of Baku seems to pride itself in its successful oil history. Once known as the black city, the abundance of oil inland and on the caspian sea has seen this fairly new country (Azerbaijan) rise from the ground. Located between two big power of the Region (Russia and Iran) and still involved in an ethnic conflict on its west border with Armenia, the country has been looking for ways to build up a national pride around its successful oil profits.

From organizing international events (European Games, Formula one amongst others), the country has invested a lot into impressive infrastructure and working together with big names in architecture to gentrify and modernise its capital city . Oil money has even sometimes ignited dreams of giant projects such as the Kazar island, a Dubai-like housing project with the highest scryscraper in the world surrounded by luxury residences that has seen a brutal stop. Other original projects involve the white city located in what was once the center of the oil industry in downtown Baku, based on Haussmanian / Parisian architecture. With the fluctuation of oil prices, the economy of Azerbaijan is at risk.

From war migrant camps to futuristic architecture, this photo series portrays the capital city of a the land of fire !

I am very happy to present you this new photographic series if you are interested in publishing it, you can view the whole set and purchase images with my agency directly @institute artist by clicking the following link : Crude Gentrification Complete Series

Lotte Tower | Architecture Photography

The Lotte Tower is the second tallest building in East Asia and by far the tallest skyscraper in South Korea. Designed by KPF architects, it will be completed in a few month and will become part of the landscape of the South Korean capital Seoul. Here are a few images.

Tim Franco is an architecture photographer based in Seoul & Shanghai and available for architecture assignment all over asia, contact him at timfranco@gmail.com or tim@propagandastudio.asia

Portrait Session | Seoul Photograher

I have been recently contacted by an aspiring model to do some photos of her in Seoul. I always wanted to take some portrait inside the great Dongdaemun Design Plazza by Zaha Hadid. I took this opportunity to try out the location. Here are some of those portraits

Tim Franco is a Seoul, South Korea based photographer available for portrait & commercial assignment . Contact timfranco@gmail.com + 821095228801

Interview on current & upcoming books

This month ( october ) issue of french magazine D'Architecture is featuring a long story on Chinese Architecture. The article is presenting "Made by Chinese" my recent book released with Frederic Edelmann about Architecture and Urbanisation in China. The Magazine also feature an interview and presentation of my latest Chongqing project ! Its very nice to see all of this coming together !

Chongqing IFC or Hong Kong wannabe

In another case of copied architecture, the Chongqing CBD in Jiefangbei also includes an IFC office tower which is extremely similar to its Hong Kong building. Another case of how local urban planner loop up to famous cities and architects and try to copy / paste them instead of trying to come with their own identity. The Chaoptienman ( tip of chongqing peninsula ) is also seeing its old port destroyed to give a place to a similar building to the famous Singapore Sands hotel & casino... Chongqing, wannabe the modern metropolis of china but if the trend continues, it will look more like a mix of other famous cities paste into one.

Chongqing IFC in the middle of the Jiefangbei area

Fake Zaha Hadid in Chongqing

As Chongqing is running towards its urbanisation and modernisation, local urban planner and authorities want to have the best and the fastest, even if it means cloning famous buildings from architects from other cities. In the new development area of Chongqing, a copycat of unfinished Beijing Zaha Hadid project has been build in the middle of the fields

The copycat building is located in the Jiangbei district of Chongqing

Some workers taking a rest inside the project

the project is surrounded by farm field, factories and housing projects

The issues has been raised in many publications, you can read more here in an article from the Spiegel online:


here is a render of the original project currently being finished in Beijing  | render from Zaha Hadid 

Kerry Center Shanghai Architecture Photography

This month, I was assigned by KPF ( Kohn Pedersen Fox ) to photograph the finished project of the new Kerry Center + Shangri La in downtown Shanghai. The project is an interesting addition of cubes and grids. It was quite interesting to photograph.

The photos can be viewed directly on KPF official website:



If you need architecture photography services in China please contact me directly by email or through our agency : http://www.propagandastudio.asia/


Architecture Photographer China

With the release of my book "Made by Chinese" covering modern architecture in China, I have just updated my architecture in China gallery . Here below are some of the photos I have shot during this project and that I have included in my personal portfolio.

Tim Franco is a shanghai architecture photographer available for commercial assignment in China . Please contact him directly timfranco@gmail.com | +86 135 858 150 11

Architecture in China | Made By Chinese

Made by Chinese | Available in 2014


In 2011 / 2012, I have spent about a year working with a great team of people on a book about Architecture in China. After more than a year of scanning, editing, writing, the book is finally here and it looks incredible !

Its a double volume box with a first book gathering most of the text and some of the photos and another 400 pages book gathering most of my photo work  ! It is with great pleasure that I rediscover the photos. Together with journalist Frederic Edelmann and with Urbanist Jeremie Descamps, we travel most of China, from cities to country side to explore the most unique work of architecture made in China. I would like to thanks the gallery Enrico Navarra and especially Sebastien Morreu who did this project possible.

The book will be available in China first and then France and others. Publishing date and launch event will be announce through my website . Here below a few snaps from inside the book. Most of the photo have been shot in large format slides 4x5 and the real prints is really nice to look at !

Some of the work published in the book can be seen on my website here : http://www.timfranco.com/spaces/ 


photo (42).JPG