Crystal Island | Going G in Moscow

crystal island architecture 2 Crystal Island | Going G in Moscow

Close your eyes and think of Moscow, Russia. The image that comes to mind is a series of funky-colored domes, large open squares, and even a gigantic banner of Stalin – or Lenin (depending on when you grew up). Now picture a giant, volcano-shaped glass and steel structure that rises gradually out of a large park to dominate the city’s skyline.

The world’s largest green building is coming to Moscow. Dubbed Crystal Island, the structure (designed by London’s Foster + Partners) will boast over 2.5 million square meters of usable space, also making it the world’s largest single building. It will house theaters, offices, residences, performance centers and even an international school.

It has passed the initial political hurdles and is now in the official planning stage – meaning it will be a reality sooner than later.

crystal island architecture 3 Crystal Island | Going G in Moscow

How is it “G”? The design is groundbreaking because the terracing creates a series of “winter gardens” enclosed in glass. These areas also provide an air buffer to the rest of the building, keeping it cooler in summer and warmer in winter. The pyramid shape allows light to penetrate deep into the building — and of course there will be large arrays of solar panels to help supply the rest of the energy needs.

The building itself rises out of a city park, providing further amenities and dispensing with the idea that buildings should spill out on to a street. And everything within the building will be within walking distance, requiring little non-human energy.

For a country with some of the world’s largest oil reserves, I’m glad to hear that Russia is thinking ahead.

crystal island architecture 01 Crystal Island | Going G in Moscow



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