• Ideas
  • Mar 27, 2015

Field Trip: Baku 2015

View of Baku from Iraqi-British architect ZAHA HADID’s Heydar Aliyev Center.

Situated on the Caspian Sea, the oil-rich country of Azerbaijan is undergoing rapid transformation to become the cultural destination of the Caucasus. Shaking off former Soviet ties—from which it gained independence in 1991—Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital city, continues to open itself up to international exchange economically and also in arts and culture. In recent years, the surge of national wealth centered primarily in Baku—a city of roughly 4 million people—has seen the rise of the middle-class, thus attracting the infiltration of luxury goods and services. On March 25, for instance, the British retail chain Harvey Nichols opened its first outpost in Baku and this summer, American entrepreneur Donald Trump will debut Trump International Hotel and Tower in the city’s Nasimi District.