Theater and Concert Hall, Astana
The Concert Hall is a center for the performing arts in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. It was inaugurated by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev on the day of the nation's Independence, December 15, 2009. The Astana State Auditorium lies south of a historic organizational axis leading to the Presidential Palace with the Senate House opposite the auditorium. The shape of the building was created from an analysis of a native flower. The music that the building wraps reflects on the dynamic shape and color of the envelope. The built form, designed as the "Steppe Flower" contains a system of housing stores, balconies, restaurants, two cinemas and the Concert Hall. The hall is a shell clad in wood inside and out sitting deep inside the interlocking envelope. This belly-like space symbolizes a local Kazakh musical instrument ‘Dombra’. The multi-level tiles inside the building are integrated with the tile system on each side of the central axis.
The concrete frame is glazed to protect the interior from harsh climate extremes, while reflecting the changing landscape. The shape of the building evokes the dynamism of the petals of a flower as a metaphor for the dynamism of the music. The exterior structure of the building includes a series of curved walls made of concrete with a glass panel cladding painted on the back. These structures protect the interior functions of the building from the harsh weather conditions of Astana. The building contains a thirty meter high lobby which extends over 3,000 square meters, which aims to create an indoor public square on an urban scale that can welcome the citizens of Astana throughout the year.
The acoustic and visual features of traditional theaters have been modernized and brought to an insurmountable level, the fly tower uses advanced technology to provide maximum flexibility on stage, the interior and exterior walls are covered in Italian gemstone and the decor was created by expert decorators. The facades, columns and wall formations of the theater are covered with Siziliani Pearl marble tiles (in total about 6,000 tons were used during the project) of different sizes and thicknesses, creating a perfect harmony of colors and materials typical of classical architecture. Some sections made of materials of different origins, however, are mixed into natural stone. The only elements that come out of this stylistic harmony are the copper roof and the bronze color of the aluminum window frames, decorated with silk screen prints describing scenes from Kazakhstan folklore. Numerous sculptures and lighting fixtures add an extra decorative touch to the building.