Kazakhstan Utopia Debuts

Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa designed a utopian vision interweaving the city and nature. Three years after his death, his vision is complete. Rowan More of the Observer pays Astana, the new capital, a visit.

Rowan asks, "...can a city, in all its teeming complexity, really be planned? Or does the attempt lead only to a synthetic simulacrum, a kind-of city that is not quite the real thing?"

Nonetheless, Rowan is surprised by the boldness of Kurokawa's vision:

"To look at, Astana is so strange that it has one grasping for images. It's a space station, marooned in an ungraspable expanse of level steppe, its name (to English speakers) having the invented sound of a science fiction writer's creation. It's a city of fable or dream, as recounted by Marco Polo to Kublai Khan."

Full Story: Astana, Kazakhstan: the space station in the steppes

Comments

Comments

Back to 1950's Urban Planning

The same style as Brasilia, which was designed in 1956. No doubt, the wind-swept plazas that modernists loved are even more uncomfortable in the steppes of Kazakhstan than they in Brazil.

That is what you get when you ask one of today's avant-gardist architects to design a futuristic city for you - a design that is a half century out of date.

Charles Siegel

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