The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

In 1991, Kazakhstan became the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Six years later, the government moved from the Almaty to Astana (formerly known as Aqmola). There, with the help of architects like Norman Foster, they built a futuristic city on the remains of old buildings from the Soviet era.

Here are the results.

Bayterek (means 'tall poplar'), a 344 ft (105 m) tall observation tower, represents a poplar tree holding a golden egg. It was designed by Norman Foster, built in 1997 as a symbol of the new capital.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Jamais Cascio and Mariusz Kluzniak)

Two golden towers, also known as 'the beer cans', 1998

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Frank Herfort, philmensch and Ben Dalton)


Ak Orda Presidential Palace, the workplace of the President of Kazakhstan, completed in 2004.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The 260 ft (80 m) high building has a blue and gold dome topped with a golden statue.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via philmensch and Erik Stewart)

The 39-story Triumph of Astana, a mixed-use building, opened in 2006. It was modeled after the Seven Sisters skyscrapers in Moscow, Russia. There are offices, apartments and a hotel inside.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Frank Herfort and msykos)

Kazakhstan's Parliament building

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Ahsel Group and International Union of Judicial Officiers)

The Metropolitan Circus

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Ben Dalton)

Palace of Peace and Reconcilation (also known as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord), a 203 ft (62 m) high pyramid on a 49 ft (15 m) high earth covered block. It was designed by Foster and Partners, opened in 2006.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via kersy83 and Ben Dalton)

Headquarters of KazMunayGas, the state-owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Martin Lopatka and Ken & Nyetta)

Headquarters of the Nur Otan Party

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Frank Herfort, Yakov Fedorov and Jonathan Newell)

Shabyt (Palace of Creativity, but also known as the Dog Bowl)

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

This circular building has two concert halls, two film studios, dance room, a library, a large multi-purpose hall, some meeting rooms and the classrooms of the Kazakhstan Arts University.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Ken & Nyetta and io9)

Astana Music Hall

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Ken & Nyetta and meadowsaffron)

Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall, designed by Manfredi Nicoletti, opened in December 2009

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via e-architect and Ken & Nyetta)

The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, a 500 ft (150 m) high transparent tent designed by Norman Foster, opened in 2010. It has an internal park, a boating river, a shopping center, a minigolf and indoor beach resort and an entertainment venue.

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Frank Herfort, Ben Dalton, upyernoz and ninara)

Lazurny Kvartal (Azure Complex), a residential complex, opened in 2011

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via Frank Herfort and BI Group)

Residential buildings

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

The Strange, Post-Soviet Architecture of Astana, Kazakhstan

(via ninara)