Saturday, January 28, 2012

Tower of Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan is planning a go at building a new world's tallest building:
"The Azerbaijani developer Avesta plans to stick the 1,110-meter-high (about 3,642- feet-high ) building on a chain of artificial islands off Azerbaijan's Caspian Sea shore. Completion date: by 2019. The tower -- named, not surprisingly, 'Tower of Azerbaijan' -- is expected to house hotels and business centers. It may not compensate for endemic corruption, a spotty civil rights record or any other of the Azerbaijani government's oft-cited deficiencies, but it surely will attract gaping onlookers and tourism money."

Over the summer, I read about the "Guggenheim effect," by which cities gain world renown on the basis of an iconic building bringing attention and business in its wake. The effect is named for the global reputation of Bilbao, Spain in the wake of the building of its Guggenheim Museum. Azerbaijan, which is starting to act like the smaller Persian Gulf states in its quest for superlatives, could be hoping for a similar effect for Baku, since building the world's tallest building is an artistically easy way to get a landmark.



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