Largest Tent On Earth

in City

win a resort -worlds biggest tentIn a nation where the annual average temperature is only 3 degrees Celius, the world's largest climate controlled tent, Khan Shatyr's opened in Kazakhstan. Now a major feature of the skyline of Central Asia's latest capital, the huge recreational structure soars up 150m.

Covered with multiple layers of a special plastic, EFTE, it offers an energy-efficient, climate-controlled tension structure, which shelters the residents of Kazakhstan from the extreme weather conditions of the area.

Temperatures in Astana, in northern Kazakhstan, regularly drop well below -30C in winter, but can reach 30C in summer. The tent is designed to provide escape for a people subjected to some of the harshest climes of Central Asia's vast steppe.

The 100,000 sq metre complex designed by Lord Foster, took 4 years to complete. It holds a city within a city, plus botanical garden, cinemas, restaurants and shops, water park, a monorail and mini-golf course.

The Khan Shatyr is the latest vanity project begun by Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kazakhstan's increasingly autocratic president. The invited guests were Nazarbayev, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, Turkish president Abdullah Gul and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, among others. The Opening ceremony was launched with a performance by Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and closed with a burst of fireworks. It was timed to align with Astana day, a new holiday to celebrate the nation's new capital.

Nazarbayev moved Kazakhstan's capital in 1998, to the isolated northern city from Almaty and renamed it Astana, which literally means "capital". He declared 6th July Astana Day, on the tenth anniversary of the move, which also happens to be his birthday.

Nazarbayev poured in nearly £8bn to transform the city into a capital fit for Central Asia's greatest booming economy. He brought in world-famous architects like Kisho Kurokawa, who designed Astana's new airport and laid out a new urban plan for the city, before his death in 2007. Manfredi Nicoletti, Italian architect designed a petal-shaped concert hall. The observation deck of Bayterek, a 105mtall tower in the city centre, has a bronze book with an imprint of Nazarbayev's right hand and encourages viewers to place their own hand into it and make a wish.

Authorities made an effort to cover it up when the original bronze book with hand imprint was stolen. A duplicate was quickly made to replace the stolen item.

"The place is odd. They're essentially creating a new city, so they're playing around with new ideas," said Will Webster, a London-based freelance photographer who recently photographed the site.

Under legal changes approved by parliament in 2007, Nazarbayev is allowed to serve as president indefinitely, even thought his current presidential term expired in 2012. He has ruled in Kazakhstan with an iron fist since the nation gained independence amid the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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Wendy Stenberg-Tendys has 1 articles online

Rick and Wendy are CEO's of YouMe Support Foundation charity that gives away non repayable high school education grants to children who will never have the opportunity to have a high school education without outside assistance.

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Largest Tent On Earth

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This article was published on 2011/07/12