What a Rich Client and Complete Design Freedom Produces

In a slideshow of stunning photos by renowned photographer Iwan Baan, The New York Times shows the latest example of what spending an estimated $6 billion a year on architectural splendors will buy you.

In case you haven't heard, the small country of Azerbaijan (pop. 9,590,159) is collecting architectural treasures from some of the world's most well regarded architects. "Azerbaijan’s leaders want to make their capital city a destination for the rich and fabulous," writes Maya Lau. "The latest example: the Heydar Aliyev Center designed by Zaha Hadid, for whom it offered the rare opportunity of nearly total design freedom."

In this slideshow, see the stunning results. 

Full Story: Who’s Winning the Architecture Arms Race?

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