In the late 1300s the Timurid Dynasty took over much of Central Asia and built some
mosques in Turkmenistan. In most of these buildings
tile work was extensive and were generally bright colors. Stucco was also a common
substance for decorational purposes.
From the time of the Timurid Dynasty until the 1800s few monumental structures were
built as Turkmenistan was primarily a desert and the
Timurid Dynasty moved southeast, leaving the region behind.
Most of modern Turkmenistan, particularly the large
cities, were built under Soviet rule in the 1900s and the Soviet's simple construction
focused on use over esthetics and can be seen everywhere. During this time period
many buildings were constructed for housing and industrial plants as a mass urbanization
occurred. Churches were no longer built, as religion was not encouraged, so nearly
all constructions from this time were functional in use and had few design features
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 Turkmenistan's
former president, Saparmurat Niyazov (also known as Turkmenbashi) decided to build
lavish palaces, mosques, and statues dedicated to himself. The capital city of Ashgabat
is a living museum of the odd and much of this comes in the form of buildings from
Turkmenbashi's time, although later buildings were influenced by this lead.
Among the most interesting buildings is the Turkmenistan Broadcasting Center (2011)
in Ashgabat. If statues count as architecture though, the rotating gold statue of
Turkmenbashi is the country's more interesting piece of architecture.