_Policeman Booth, Baku_

Azerbaijan, located in the Caucasus, was a Soviet Socialist Republic from 1920 to 1991 when it gained independence from the Soviet Union. Throughout the Caucasus, from the early 1960s, outstanding buildings were erected reflecting a general mood of optimism and regional diversity, contradicting the western prejudice that Eastern Bloc architecture is monotonous looking. As well as interesting buildings from the Soviet era (see the database compiled by the Architekturzentrum Wien), Azerbaijan has numerous examples of medieval architecture, Islamic architecture, and has in recent years exploded with shinny, flashy projects thanks to oil riches, most notably the Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid, completed in late 2013.

But it is this little folly that caught my eye. I have found out next to nothing about it other than that it was constructed in 1967 in Baku, the capital city.

Shaped like the hat worn by the policeman inside it, this policeman’s observation booth juts out above the traffic. The steps leading up to it resemble the vertebrae on a giraffes neck. Its dynamic form is a far cry from the prefabricated boxes I associate with policemen shelters. I would be interested to know if this is still standing and if it is a one off or one of many examples of its kind.

Image reposted from Architecture of Doom