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

Khazar Islands - A failed urban dream ?

During my time in the Azeri Capital, working on my Crude Gentrification Story, I tried to visit and learn about as many places and project as possible . The Khazar Islands project is by far the one that surprised me the most ! This gigantic complex, as large as a small city is suppose to be spread on 30 Km2 over the caspian Sea and house about a million residents over luxury villas and supposely the tallest tower in the world ( Azerbaijan Tower ) . As per the wikipidia page , the project is suppose to go and be finished by 2025 but the reality seems otherwise. The site has been abandoned after only a few of the buildings have been erected. The Khazar Islands project can be seen as a reflection of the situation in Azerbaijan, a country that is trying hard to shine through new urban development and international event but that fails to see its realities . Here are a few images of it and some renders of the project found on the wikipedia page.

Only the entrance building with its swimming pool seems to rise at the entrance - here below a few of the rendering of how the project should look like 

Along the Caspian Sea

As part of my work on urban gentrification in Baku Azerbaijan - I have got the chance to spend a lot of time on the coast of the Caspian Sea. From Luxury Resort to trashed public beach, the caspian sea around the Azeri capital offers a unique glimpse of the disparity of the local life. Here are a few images . The whole project can be find here on this site and the compte series on my agency Institute Artist

The story is available for Publication through Institute Artist | or contact me  timfranco@gmail.com

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