Sunday, 13 January 2013

Blairchitecture: 'Ascend up into the light'

Here's one I designed earlier: Pyramind of Peace and Accord
The Pyramid of Peace and Accord was commissioned from Lord Norman Foster by the president of Kazakhstan in Astana, to where Nursultan Nazarbayev moved the state capital in 1997.

The building was conceived to host a congress of world religious leaders. It contains an opera house in the basement. "As you ascend up the pyramid you ascend up into the light," Lord Foster said: his intention was to build a pyramid "so light that it will appear to float away".

Nazarbayev expressed anti-religious views when he was president during the Soviet period, but since the breakup of the union and his continued presidency (most recently endorsed in a 2011 election in which he received 95.54 per cent of the vote) he has stressed his Muslim beliefs and undertaken the pilgrimage to Mecca.

Kazakhstan, which has significant hydro-carbon reserves, is now sometimes referred to as 'the Singapore of the Steppes': not only has its president been lauded in a recent book by Jonathan Aitken, the former British government minister imprisoned for perjury in 1999, but it enjoys, for a reputed £13 million fee, the advice of our former prime-minster, Tony Blair, and his contacts and associates.