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Khan Shatyr Entertainment Centre, Kazakhstan by Foster + Partners

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[FIRST LOOK + PLANS] The world’s tallest tensile structure, the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center in Kazakhstan by Foster + Partners has officially opened its doors

The 150m-tall tent-like structure in Astana is held up by three 70-ton legs, supported by more than 200 cable and covers an area of nearly 110,000m².

Hailed as a a ‘major new civic, cultural and social venue’, the building is clad in 19,000m² of three-layered ETFE designed to shelter visitors from temperatures which can very from between -35C in winter and climb as high as +35C in summer.

The huge tent houses an ‘urban-scaled park’, shops, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, and flexible spaces for events and exhibitions.

Nigel Dancey, a design director at Foster + Partners, said: ‘Khan Shatyr will be an important new destination for the people of Astana to enjoy at all times of the year, whatever the weather.

‘With the Palace of Peace and Khan Shatyr, we are proud to have designed the two landmark structures for such prominent points along the city’s main axis – their forms express the change of emphasis and function, from religion to entertainment, as you pass along this grand new boulevard.’

In winter, to prevent the formation of ice on the inside of the envelope, warm air currents run up the inner surface of the fabric - a strategy which also prevents downdraughts. In summer, fritting on the outermost foil layer provides solar shading. Inside, low-level jets direct cool air across the space, while opening vents at the apex induce stack-effect ventilation.


Client: Sembol Construction
Appointment: February 2006
Construction: December 2006 (foundations)
Site Area: 200,000m²
Retail Area: 40,000m² (160 shops)
Total Area: 110,000m²
Length: 200m
Width: 195m
Height: Top of mast 150m
Structure: 20m-high slopped concrete base with 4.2m long elliptical shape integrated rooflights - concrete base at ground level 200 m x 195 m
Base of cable net 143m x 115m, 192 radial cables, 16 circunferencial cables
Cladding: 19,000m² of ETFE - cushions are made of three layers of ETFE. Each cushion is 3.5m x 30m
Car parking spaces: 700 internal, 850 external

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