Baku is the largest and capital city of Azerbaijan and also the largest city on the Caspian Sea and Caucasus region. Just over 2 million people live in the city which is split into two distinct parts, the old Inner City and downtown. Baku also includes the small islands in Baku Bay and the town of Oil Rocks which is a place built on stilts in the Caspian Sea.
Baku does not have a specific or particular architectural style as it has accumulated its buildings over quite a long period of time. Styles vary from the 12th century Maiden Tower to postmodern glass shelled buildings from the early 2000s to now.
Bibi Heybat Mosque
With Shi’a Islam being the most dominant religion in the country, Islamic styles are quite predominant with buildings like the Dayabumi Complex and Islamic Centre showing of the geometric motifs that has become a big feature of Islamic architecture. There are also plenty of very interesting mosque’s that are in the style including the Bibi-Heybat, Tazapir and Qubad Mosques.
At the turn of the 20th century a lot of the buildings that were built had a Victorian and Western influence on them. A big accomplishment from the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic was the first modern style university founded in Azerbaijan with the Baku State University.
Baku State University
The mid 50’s saw bad news for fans of fancy design with the USSR Council of Minsters’ saying “On measures to further industrialization, improving quality and reducing the cost of construction” and “The removal of excess in the design and construction”.
Park Inn Baku
In more modern times Baku has had many new tall buildings with late modernism and postmodern architectural styles. The new business district is a big part of that with buildings like the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre, Park Inn Baku Hotel and the Flame Towers. The oil boom has led to a constantly developing city, in 2011 the Extreme Engineering TV series featured a show dedicated to the buildings in construction in Baku.