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Astana adds Foster's eye to pyramid

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A new project of famous British architect Norman Foster has been unveiled in Astana, tengrinews reports citing the Foundation of the First President of Kazakhstan. 

The President participated in the opening ceremony to thank the sponsors who supported the construction of the unique building. The construction of the Nazarbayev Center was privately funded with no state involvement. 

“Study of our history, world economy and politics will be conducted (in this Center). Youth will gain new knowledge in national history and learn languages,” said the President at the opening of the Center.

Foster’s original design of an eye-shaped building for Astana is expected to become a new symbol of Kazakhstan's life force. The giant round eye gazing into the sky has more than 30,000 square meters of floor area. The diameter of the span of the roof is 81 meters. 

Similar to Foster's pyramid constructed in Astana years earlier, the new building's interior design culminates around a 535-square-meter central atrium of 26 meters in diameter. The building's hall is fit for holding public events for up to 500 people. 

Foster had previously designed Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center (2010) and the Palace of Peace and Accord (2006) in Astana. He was involved in the reconstruction of Wembley Stadium in UK, designed of the futuristic Expo MRT Station in Singapore, the award-winning Tivoli Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark and dozens of other notable buildings around the world.

The new building houses the Nazarbayev Center that is called to popularize the work, political views and decisions made by Kazakhstan leaders at various stages of the country's history. The Nazarbayev Center aims to bridge the gap between the country's leaders and its citizens to enhance mutual understanding. 

“It is no coincidence that such centers have become an important part of political, social and cultural life of the countries with presidential government. Presidential libraries and museums of Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Carter, Reagan, Clinton in the United States are among such centers,” said the press release.

The Nazarbayev Center will house a museum and a library that will offer the latest, fullest and most precise information about the activities of the President. The museum and the library, embracing new technologies, will offer online access to the information and visuals. The library holds more than 460.6 thousand books, documents, magazines and etc. 200 thousand of the pieces are part of a special collection. 

The Institute of World Economy and Politics will move to the new building as well.

December 18 2013, 14:37

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