Architectural sights of Astana
June 08. Kazpravda
By Maria BURKAEVA
15 years ago Astana was born and now the city has an ultra-modern architectural design, where the wise, calm and purposeful East and the open to new ideas West are closely intertwined.
Soaring skyscrapers, business and administrative buildings, public and cultural facilities, shopping malls, monuments have been constructed in Astana over the years.
Astana inspires to fulfill the most ambitious ideas. The city has become a platform for famous architects to realize their ambitious plans. We can be proud that Astana construction plan was developed by famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa; the Palace of Peace and Harmony and the shopping mall “Khan Shatyry” were designed by the Englishman Norman Foster; the Central Concert Hall “Kazakhstan” – by the Italian architect Manfredi Nicoletti.
President Nursultan Nazarbayev in his speech, timed to the 10th anniversary of Astana, said that in the ancient land of Sary-Arka, the new capital was born. It is the cradle of the future of the country. Astana’s and Kazakhstan’s history is inseparable from each other. The capital is the symbol of strength, stability and dynamic development. Astana became a bright, strong, prosperous, and growing city. Our capital is the heart of our country, – he went on, – the symbol of people’s faith.
A golden eagle on the steeple of Akorda or a sacred bird Samruk at the top of the monument “Kazakh Eli”, or the Palace of Independence, constructed in the form of the traditional Kazakh yurt, small architectural forms, traditional ornament, decorating the monuments of prominent figures of Kazakh culture and history such as Bogenbai-warrior, Kenesary Khan, Abay Kunabaev, Zhambyl, Tole bi, Aiteke bi, Kazybek -bi, Saken Seyfullin, Bauirzhan Momyshuly, Alia Moldagulova show the national traditions.
Astana is the symbol of unity of Kazakhstanis, their openness to all religions. This year the President has opened a new cathedral mosque “Hazrat Sultan” on Independence Avenue, which is the largest one in Central Asia, and on the left bank there is the cathedral mosque “Nur-Astana”.
The Palace of Peace and Harmony has a unique architectural form – a pyramid. Its area is 28 000 square meters, the height is 62 meters. Since 2006, conference rooms and exhibition areas, art galleries, presentation systems with modern equipment have been functioning there.
Another wonderful creation of Norman Foster is “Khan Shatyry” shopping mall – one of the largest facilities of its kind in the world. The total area of the shopping center is 127 000 square meters, the height is 150 m (spire). “Khan Shatyry” has already become one of the most favorite destination points of local residents. It has a family park, cafes and restaurants, cinemas, sports facilities, a water park with an artificial beach and swimming pools with wave effect, service and office premises, parking for 700 cars.
Another cultural center of Astana is the concert hall “Kazakhstan”, equipped with the most advanced technology and designed for mass events – celebrations and official meetings, concerts of international and Kazakhstani stars, conferences, presentations, meetings and exhibitions.
The new State Theatre of Opera and Ballet “Astana Opera” will be opened soon. It has 1 250 seats, 450 of which are in the stalls, and the rest – in 4 tiered stalls. The main stage of the theatre has an area of over 700 square meters. In addition to the main stage there is a chamber music hall of 250 seats, for rehearsals the actors can use 2 large, 6 small and 11 additional rooms, for chorus and ballet groups there are another 2 separate rooms.
Another Astana symbol – Baiterek monument has become a hallmark of Astana. It is made of metal, glass and concrete and is an architectural symbol of renewal.
Dozens of new buildings are appearing in Astana every year. Recently such unique objects, as the Republican Cardiology, Palace of Schoolchildren with planetarium, the school “Jas Ulan”, the Media Center, the Arc de Triumph have opened in Astana. For the EXPO 2017 Astana will construct other super-modern buildings: the Library and the Foundation of the First President, the National Museum, the Center for Space Studies, the National Defense University, the indoor city, a multifunctional complex “Abu Dhabi Plaza”, the hotels “Hilton”, “Mariott”, “Ritz-Carlton” and “Four Seasons”, the Palace of martial arts for 5 000 seats, the Ice Palace of 10 000 seats. Construction of the new railway station, which will be located in the alley “Mynzhyldyk” – four kilometers from the Palace of Peace and Harmony, has started.
Construction of “Abu Dhabi Plaza” was started in November 2010 and will be completed in November 2016. This multifunctional complex will be the tallest building in Central Asia (88 floors and 382 meters). It will have a hotel, offices, residential apartments, a shopping mall, a winter garden, and more. The complex will be connected by monorail line with Astana international airport.
At present Astana is among the most beautiful capitals in the world.