Astana - capital city of Kazakhstan
In 1997 President of sovereign Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to remove the capital of the country from Almaty to Astana. This decision was conditioned by important geopolitical location of the city – in the very heart of Kazakhstan and Eurasian continent, with necessary transport and communication infrastructure. Presence of unoccupied lands for the development of the city played a key role in choosing the new capital.
In 1998 the new capital of Kazakhstan was given a new name – Astana which is referred to “capital” in the Kazakh language. Astana has turned into an epicenter of political, social and cultural life of the nation.
Whole world built Astana
The young capital of Kazakhstan is a symbol of creativity and progress of its people. 71 cities of the world, 432 leading construction companies contributed to building Astana. 135 plants supplied construction materials to the Kazakh capital. Along with the local firms, the new capital was erected by Turkish, Italian, French and Swiss companies. 60-100 medium and large projects have been put into commission annually. Rapid paces of construction and nationwide support allowed to build a modern city with a unique image and style amid vast steppes of Kazakhstan over 10 years.
Astana was built by best architects of world
On President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s initiative Astana should have Eurasian image. This idea was taken into consideration while developing the city’s architectural concept. Famous Japanese architect, outstanding theorist Kisho Kurokawa is the author of the “Astana Master Plan for the New Capital of Kazakhstan”. Other works by K. Kurokawa include: the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, Kuala-Lumpur International Airport and Osaka National Museum of Ethnology and Zenith Stadium in Saint Petersburg. Architectural ensembles created by K. Kurokawa represent mixture of modern design and Asian color. This gives the city a unique image. To date Astana can be compared with Tokyo, New York and Dubai.
Astana has become a polygon of ideas for other famous architect – Norman Foster, acknowledged leader of architecture in high-tech style. Norman Foster is the author of Millennium Bridge in London, Beijing’s largest airport, the highest sky-scraper in Europe. Foster reconstructed Bundestag building in Berlin, Commerzbank in Frankfurt-am-Main, Wembley Stadium in London. He erected famous Hearst Tower in New York. London’s Swiss Re Skyscraper was also designed by N. Foster.
Norman Foster is the author of the projects of Palace of Peace and Reconciliation and Khan Shatyry entertainment center in Astana.
Astana – part of Kazakhstan brand
In July 1999 Astana was awarded a special prize of UNESCO “City of Peace”. It was also highly evaluated by Moody's Investors Service in 2003. The young capital became an important part of “Kazakhstan brand”. It has all grounds to join 30 best cities of the world.
The modern capital of Kazakhstan grows and changes, becomes more attractive for the Kazakhstan citizens and foreign guests. Modern architectural style in which best European and Oriental traditions are combined fully reflects the image of the new capital as an economic, political and cultural centre.
Astana became a unifying idea for Kazakhstan people that helped to burst Kazakhstan forward in its economic development. Future of Kazakhstan is intimately connected with the future of Astana which has recently been perceived as a “new capital”, but today it is an integral part of the new image of Kazakhstan in the XXI century.
Water-Green Boulevard is a pedestrian bridge situated on the main axis of Astana administrative center. The author of the project is Kisho Kurokawa. The bridge is one of major parts of a composition of the capital’s centre. The boulevard consists of three levels. The lower level provides for a parking for 400 cars. The second floor consists of a double-height gallery around which exhibition halls, shops and offices are concentrated. The third floor is a street with artificial grass and ornamental trees, small architectural ensembles and fountains.
Duman Entertainment Centre
Duman Entertainment Centre began its activity in May, 2003. The centre presents a unique complex with an Aquarium, 3D Motion Theatre, “Jungles” attraction, bowling, multifunctional hall, hotel as well as a network of cafes, trade halls and children’s playground.
Duman is popular both among adults and children. The volume of water in the Aquarium is 3 mln litres. More than 2,000 of sea inhabitants representing 100 species of sea fauna from different parts of the world live there: sea-stars, sea-horses, bright coral fish and actiniae.
Connoisseurs of history will be interested in a Dome Room which serves as a museum platform. Here one can see models of Kazakhstan and foreign countries’ sightseeing, like a fragment of the Khoja Akhmet Yassawi Mausoleum built in the XV century, a copy of the statue of the “Golden Man”, Independence Monument of Kazakhstan and a model of a rocket from viewing site of Baikonur space center. There are also models of an ancient settlement, a monument of unity of Saks nations, “Kazakhstan” fountain, a model of America’s Statue of Liberty, a wigwam - North American Indians’ homes and a fragment of the Great Chinese Wall.
“Nur Astana” Central Mosque and Beit Rachel Synagogue
Principles of tolerance, humanitarian and religious cooperation and respect for freedom of conscience and religion inherent to modern Kazakhstan are reflected in two unique religious buildings which decorated the left bank of the city: “Nur Astana” Central Mosque and Beit Rachel Synagogue.
Central golden dome and four gold-capped minarets of “Nur Astana” Mosque harmoniously complement the white marble exterior. The project was finished and officially opened by the President in 2005. Inside, Kazakh artists have done a great job of painting the pastel-toned interior and prayers are held five times a day. The area of the Mosque is 4 000 sq m. 5 000 believers can pray inside, while 2 000 parishioners can pray on the square outside. The minarets of 62 m height each symbolize eternity and the domes covered with aluminum with gold do not let the administrative part of the city forget about soul.
Beit Rachel Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, was opened in Astana on September 7, 2004. Its total area comprises 5 600 sq m. The building was erected on the coast of the Akbulak River between the Eurasian National University and a beautiful housing complex. The Beit Rachel Synagogue was built during two and a half years.
Batygay indoor city
Batygai is “a city under roof” with the area of more than 2 mln sq m. The project is named in honor of an ancient capital of Kazakhstan. The complex will include a school, a hospital, offices, a trade center, a water park, an entertainment complex, a sports centre, SPA centers and a cinema. Along the perimeter of the project there will be houses. Over 10 000 people are expected to live and be served there.
Besides, the tent will recreate summer the year round. Residents of the complex will swim in pools and rest on beaches even when temperature outside is below zero.
The building of the circus in the form of UFO is remarkable since externally the circus is not similar to any other building of Astana. Inside there is an arena of diameter of 13 meters, and 2000 places for visitors.
Astana circus combines a unique architectural idea with high technological equipment, ergonomics of internal design and advanced infrastructure. But its main achievement is its staff. It gathered most talented young people from every corner of the republic. The program of the circus is various enough: clowns, acrobats, jugglers, equilibrists. Among animals there are lions, camels, a pony, dogs, a monkey, and a bear cub. From time to time guest performers come here, and the group of the Astana circus periodically goes on performances abroad. The circus is situated on the left bank of the city.