Top: Entertainment Centre, Kazakhstan
Below: Crystal Island, Moscow
Is Moscow trying to overtake Dubai as the capital of superlative architecture? I’m not sure where this Russian money has suddenly come from (you’re always hearing stories of Russian billionaires and tycoons flashing their stash of cash) and now they have enlisted none other than Sir Norman Foster to design- get this-the world’s biggest building in Moscow called Crystal Island. Sir Foster has given us a Gherkin, an Armadillo and now critics say he’s designing a ‘dahlia in a string bag’. Other have likened it to a giant Christmas tree, Volcano and space-ship. Crystal Island, meant to be, surprise surprise, a city with in a city and an energy-efficient building (do they build any ‘non-energy efficient’ buildings these days?), covered in a smart-skin to regulate the extremes in temperature. Sir Foster does seem to be pre-occupied with volcanoes these days. Check out his design for a new Entertainment Center in another contestant in the league of flash cities- Kazakhstan. Now beat that Dubai!
Critics in Russia aren’t too pleased with the design. Here’s a story in the Guardian with a few quite hilarious comments. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/story/0,,2235256,00.html