I am kicking off a new theme on my blog that I will simply call “Places”.
Yesterday I finally visited one of the most instagrammable landmarks of Baku city that from one side perceived as a symbol of modern Azerbaijan and from another has nothing in common with the rest of the city and is somewhat misplaced.
The whole complex consisting of center itself, several artificial lakes, bunch of escalators and plenty of grass fields takes quite some space, but is self-sufficient when it comes to design and positioned independently from post-soviet surroundings. And that is why it reminds me so much of alien spaceship (just like the one in District 9) – there is clearly no attempt to integrate it with the rest of the city.
If you come here, try to distance yourself from the fact that center is named after the third president of Azerbaijan (just like every second street/airport/palace – you name it) and was even rumored to have been designed to resemble his signature. Think of it as a place celebrating incredible modern architecture, which is probably detached from actuality and indeed does not embody hope or faith in the future, but represents a parallel reality. The reality in which perhaps such centers are not used for self-affirmation…