Taking inspiration from the country's flag, Fundamental Architects and Omega Render are proposing a futuristic new building in Kazakhstan. Spanning the width of the Ishim River in Astana, the building's circular cutout both provides views downriver and is a subtle nod toward the country’s national emblem. The concept is one of three proposals that BI GROUP, the country's largest developer, is considering for the site.
The Tower of the Sun sits in the heart of the capital city and will be a mixed-use building comprised of residences, offices, a hotel, and commercial spaces. The 75,000-square-meter (approximately 807,000-square-foot) building will include a pedestrian and cyclist bridge on the lower level. The roof terrace would also be publicly accessible, providing a new viewing platform to take in expansive views of Astana.
When deciding how to make the best use of the space, Fundamental Architects turned to Kazakhstan's flag as a way to turn a problem into a solution. With the building site located on the river, they needed to understand how to use the space without completely blocking the view. Using the main structure as the blue part of the flag and the enormous cutout as the sun, they cleverly employed these cultural symbols to resolve the issue.
“The building shape took its inspiration from the national flag of Kazakhstan—a blue rectangular canvas with a yellow circle in the center,” shared Vladimir Konovalov of Fundamental Architects. “The building is strategically positioned on the view line between the main highway and the palace, so while driving on a highway we do not block the view towards the Presidential Palace. It is still visible through a circle opening in the tower, which represents a sun—an important symbol in Kazakh culture and traditions.”
The structure will take advantage of its strategic location on the river and will use hydroelectric power to create a “near net-zero energy” building. Now we just need to wait and see if this futuristic design based on cultural cues will be selected for construction.