Giant tent that will keep Astana warm in winters

July 4th, 2010 - 8:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Astana, July 4 (IANS) The Kazakhstan government is mulling a new architectural wonder for Astana - a giant transparent tent that will keep this capital city warm even in the harsh winter when temperatures slump to minus 30 degrees.

The mega project is expected to be announced soon as the city celebrates its annual day Tuesday, an official announcement said.

“In the nearest time, Astana’s residents may be able to enjoy a pleasant afternoon outdoors, even in the harshest winter, by taking refuge under a 500 feet-high transparent tent,” according to the plan document.

The tent, being designed by renowned British architect Norman Foster, will have a transparent dome that absorbs and retains sunlight and maintains a near constant 15 degrees.

It will contain a “miniature city” roughly the size of 10 football stadiums.

“Underneath the dome, residents will relax around cafes, shopping centres, canals, and a nine hole golf course. Additionally, the dome will contain artificial beaches and a concert hall to seat 5,000 people,” said the document, circulated on the eve of Astana Day.

Astana became the country’s capital July 7, 1997. Located in northern central Kazakhstan, the city has witnessed a huge construction boom since then on the western bank of the Ishim river. Skyscrapers, huge apartment buildings, embassies, and a glass and steel pyramid of Palace of Peace and Accord, also designed by Foster, dot the city.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev moved the capital from Almaty to the very heart of Kazakhstan to create a world class city in the huge steppe.

Since then the government has spent $20 billion on construction.

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