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#1 23-12-2007 17:24:12

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Crystal Island

Foster + Partners creates the world’s largest single building

http://img229.imageshack.us/img229/1995/1496fp243435indesignvc8.jpg

One of the world’s most ambitious building projects, Crystal Island has been granted preliminary planning permission in Moscow. Enclosed within a vast mega structure covering a total floor area of 2.5million square metres – the project’s scale is unprecedented. At 450m the scheme in one of the tallest structures on the planet, creating a spectacular new emblem on the Moscow skyline. Conceived as a self-contained city within a city, it contains a rich mix of buildings including museums, theatres and cinemas, to ensure that it is a major new destination for the whole of Moscow.

Presented to the Moscow Public and Architectural Council, Crystal Island is a highly anticipated new project. Located on the Nagatino Peninsula, edged by the Moscow River, it is located only 7.5 km from the Kremlin, and offers panoramic views over Moscow from a viewing platform at its apex.

Crystal Island will have a range of cultural, exhibition and performance facilities, approximately 3000 hotel rooms and 900 serviced apartments, as well as offices and shops, designed to maintain a dynamic and animated public realm throughout the day. Residents are able to work and live within a densely planned area where every amenity is within easy walking distance, including an international school for 500 students. Mixed-use also presents a strong case for energy balance, with individual components using energy at different times, while reinforcing the breadth of economic and social activity of the area.

The building’s spiraling form emerges majestically from a newly landscaped park, rising in
converse directions to form a diagonal grid. This distinctive geometry extends throughout the project into the park. The result is that the scheme is seamlessly integrated into a new park landscape, which provides a range of activities throughout the year, including cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter.

The internal built volumes assume a staggered formation within the triangulated steel mega frame, extending flush against the sloping facetted glazed outer skin. This terracing creates a series of wintergardens, which form a breathable second layer and thermal buffer for the main building, shielding the interior spaces from Moscow’s extreme summer and winter climates. A vertical louvre system sheaths the internal facades to ensure privacy for the individual apartments.

Dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing allow daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the scheme and can be controlled to modify the internal environment – closed in winter for extra warmth and opened in summer to allow natural ventilation. Energy management is at the heart of the design, with additional strategies to include on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation.

http://www.fosterandpartners.com/News/324/Default.aspx


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#2 27-01-2008 12:23:00

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Re: Crystal Island

Moscow's Big Space Shot

Crystal Island Aims
For Record in Size,
If Money Is Found


Moscow has seen a building boom over the past five years and is setting its sights higher. Even with problems wracking credit markets, the city has taken early steps to add the world's biggest building to its rapidly expanding skyline.

Last week, Moscow's Public and Architectural Council granted preliminary planning permission for Crystal Island, a proposed development on the metropolis's Nagatino Peninsula that is designed to contain more floor space than any other building in the world. At 2.5 million square meters, it would be four times the size of the Pentagonand more than seven times the size of Burj Dubai, slated to become the tallest -- albeit not the largest -- tower in the world.

Crystal Island has been in the planning process for three years yet its developer still hasn't been disclosed. People familiar with the matter say it is Jersey-based Russian Land Ltd., formerly known as STT Group, which is already working on some big projects in the city, including the redevelopment of Hotel Rossia and the Russia Tower.

Russian Land's Swiss chief executive, Urs Haener, 54 years old, started his career in banking at Credit Suisse. He is also deputy chief executive of Russia's Sibir Energy PLC.

The designer of both Russia Tower and Crystal Island is U.K. architectural firm Foster & Partners, which designed the new Wembley Stadium in London and a terminal for Beijing's airport.

The history of architecture is studded with examples of grandiose projects that weren't built. While Moscow is fast gaining a reputation for being at the forefront of a new wave of city design, many similarly ambitious projects around the world have been hobbled by local authorities or capital constraints. Financing may be especially difficult to obtain now, given the seizing up of the credit markets caused by the subprime crisis. Mammoth projects create "challenges at every level of design," Foster & Partners founder Lord Norman Foster said. "It is a new kind of project without precedent."

Crystal Island's supporters are hoping that it will benefit from the momentum of Moscow's surge in building over the past five years. Developers have rushed to meet increasing demand for good-quality offices in the wake of Russia's strong economic growth. Prime office rents jumped by more than 15% last year. About 1.5 million square meters of new office stock is expected to be completed in Moscow this year, up from about one million square meters last year and a sharp increase from just 100,000 square meters in 2001, according to real-estate advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Russia's residential market is also booming because of Russia's shortage of good-quality homes and a growing middle class keen to get on the housing ladder.

Crystal Island would include 75,000 square meters of offices, 900 serviced apartments, 3,000 hotel rooms, and museums and theaters. If built, Crystal Island will also boast an international school and a retail component. Parkland around the building will offer ice-skating and cross-country skiing in winter.

The intention is also to create two public viewing platforms. Unusually, more than half of the space will be below ground, including 14,000 parking spaces. While the development cost hasn't been disclosed, some estimates put it at around $4 billion.

With a very thin peak, Crystal Island sprawls outward and downward, with a facade that resembles cut crystal. The exterior facade will include solar panels which, along with turbines, will generate some of the electricity for the building.

Crystal Island isn't the first idea touted for the former industrial site on Nagatino Peninsula. A Formula One racetrack was also considered, said Sergey Riabokobylko, a senior executive director at real-estate advisory firm Cushman & Wakefield Stiles & Riabokobylko in Moscow.

Along with its other challenges, Crystal Island faces competition from nearby developments. Half a dozen projects of 200,000 square meters to one million square meters are planned between Moscow's Third Ring and the MKAD ring road, said Darrell Stanaford, managing director for Russia and Ukraine at advisory firm CB Richard Ellis in Moscow. Still, some of these developments may never happen, he says. "Most of the projects rely heavily upon debt financing, which is not available right now and which will not be handed out blindly by banks concerned about...the risk of oversupply."

Some local residents have given the vast plan a thumbs up, but others have expressed concern over its proximity to Unesco-protected churches in Kolomenskoye Park.

© WSJ, January 9, 2008

By SARA SEDDON KILBINGER
SPECIAL TO THE WSJ

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1199844 … lenews_wsj


Moscow-City as a dream...                                                                                                                 bq

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