Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Norman Foster’s Peace Pyramid

Posted by jonathanfryer on Tuesday, 28th April, 2015

imageimageOne of the most striking buildings in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, is the Peace Palace, designed by Sir Norman Foster in the form of a pyramid. It was specifically constructed, at the behest of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, to house the triennial gatherings of lsaders of world and traditional religions — the pyramid being chosen as a concept that was religiously neutral. The pyramid was completed in 2006 but the first such gathering was in fact held in 2003 and the next is due this June. In between those summits, the building is used for concerts and other conferences and boasts a variety of different spaces, from a large classic style theatre to the circular meeting room right at the top of the pyramid, whose windows feature beautiful stained glass depicting white doves. Kazakhstan itself is a secular state, with large populations of Sunni Muslims and Russian Orthodox Christians, as well as Roman Catholics and other faiths, being ethnically very mixed. It also has good relations with the Jewish diaspora worldwide.

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