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.