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Palace of Peace and Reconciliation

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Palace of Peace and Reconciliation
Бейбітшілік және келісім сарайы
Alternative namesPyramid of Peace and Accord
General information
Architectural style
AddressTauelsizdik Ave., 57
Town or cityAstana
Coordinates51°7′23″N 71°27′49″E / 51.12306°N 71.46361°E / 51.12306; 71.46361
Construction started2004 (2004)
InauguratedSeptember 1, 2006
OwnerCity of Astana
Roof62 m (203 ft)
Technical details
Floor area28,000 m2 (300,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect(s)Norman Foster
Architecture firmFoster and Partners
Structural engineerBuro Happold
Other designersBrian Clarke

The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation (Kazakh: Бейбітшілік пен келісім сарайы, Beibıtşılık pen kelısım saraiy), also translated as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord, is a 62-metre-high (203 ft) pyramid in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, since 2019, that serves as a non-denominational national spiritual centre and event venue. Designed by architectural practice Foster and Partners and developed in partnership with Aldar Properties, the Palace is surmounted by a modern stained glass apex by architectural artist Brian Clarke.[1] The Palace was constructed to house the triennial Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, and completed in 2006.[2]


The Palace was designed by architectural firm Foster and Partners and developed in partnership with Aldar Properties.[3]: 20  Built by Sembol Construction at a cost of 8.74 billion Kazakh tenge (approx. $58 million), the project was conceived as a permanent venue for the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, which meets triennially in a purpose-built conference chamber at the apex of the pyramid. In 2011 and 2013, the International Astana Action Film Festival was held in the Palace.


The pyramidical portion of the building is 62 metres high and sits on a 15-metre-high (49 ft) [citation needed] earth-covered block. All of this construction is above ground level. Though the landscaping of the Presidential Park rises up to cover the lower levels, these are not in fact basements.

The structure is made up of five "stories" of triangles, each of which is 12m in length per side. The lower portion, made of three "stories" of triangles, is clad in pale granite. The upper two rows of triangles, four triangles per side, are clad in 9700 square feet of modern stained glass,[4] an artwork by architectural artist Brian Clarke which forms the glazed apex,[5] and incorporates ceramic glaze screen-printed imagery of pigeons in flight,[6][7][8] as do the twenty eight diamond-shaped stained glass windows on the four sides of the lower level of the building, which total 1076 square feet.[4]

Construction is of a steel frame for the pyramid structure, and concrete for the lower levels. The engineers had to design the building to withstand expansion and contraction due to temperature variations of over 80 °C, from -40 to over 40 °C - leading to an expansion of the building of up to 30 cm.[9] Due to the extreme climate of the city, the engineers locked down one corner of the pyramid, and placed the three other corners on bridge bearings, a common technique for building bridges, but used in a building for the first time.[10]

The Pyramid contains accommodations for different religions, including Judaism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Daoism, and other faiths. It also houses a 1,300-seat opera house,[11] a national museum of culture, a new "university of civilization", a library and a research center for Kazakhstan's ethnic and geographical groups. This diversity is unified within the pure form of a pyramid, 62 m (203 ft) high with a 62x62m (203x203ft) base. The building is conceived as a global center for religious understanding, the renunciation of violence and the promotion of faith and human equality.

The Pyramid of Peace expresses the spirit of Kazakhstan, where cultures, traditions and representatives of various nationalities coexist in peace, harmony and accord. Bathed in the golden and pale blue glow of the stained glass (colors taken from the Kazakhstan flag), 200 delegates from the world's main religions and faith meet every three years in a circular chamber based on the United Nations Security Council meeting room in New York.

The building was designed by the British architects Foster and Partners (lead design). Turkish architectural firm Tabanlıoğlu Architects undertook construction information packages for the Foster design; engineers Buro Happold undertook lead structural and services design.[12] The Foster team was led by architects Nigel Dancey, Peter Ridley and Lee Hallman. Sembol Construction undertook a Design and Build contract, and were ultimately responsible for the final details and finishes, some of which varied considerably from the Foster and Tabanlıoğlu (Tabanlioglu) intent. Auditorium and performance equipment design was by Anne Minors Performance Consultants and acoustics by Sound Space Design.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Vaughan, Richard (4 September 2006). "Foster's Peace Pyramid completed". Architects' Journal. EMAP Publishing Limited. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  2. ^ Pearman, Hugh. "Foster designs the pyramid of peace". The Times. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  3. ^ Curtis, Simon; Klaus, Ian (2024). The Belt and Road City: Geopolitics, Urbanization, and China's Search for a New International Order. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300266900.
  4. ^ a b Mayer, Gabriel, ed. (2013). "Artist Portrait Brian Clarke" (PDF). Franz Mayer of Munich = Mayer'sche Hofkunstanstalt: architecture, glass, art. München: Hirmer. p. 234. ISBN 978-3-7774-5251-7. OCLC 847542154.
  5. ^ Moore, Rowan (7 August 2010). "Astana, the futuristic frontier of architecture". The Guardian. Guardian News & Media Limited. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  6. ^ Harrison, Martin (26 October 2006), "Light Transmissions", Royal College of Art Lecture, RCA London{{citation}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Harrod, Tanya (2015). The real thing: essays on making in the modern world. London: Hyphen Press. pp. 134–137. ISBN 978-0-907259-50-3. OCLC 903423064.
  8. ^ "The glass pyramid that reveals Kazakhstan's ambitions". BBC News Magazine. BBC News. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  9. ^ "The Palace of Peace and Reconciliation in Astana". architectism.com. Retrieved 2017-10-27.
  10. ^ Daisy Carrington (13 July 2012). "Astana: The world's weirdest capital city". Cnn.com.
  11. ^ "Opera hall". Archived from the original on 2016-07-30. Retrieved 2017-08-08.
  12. ^ "Palace of Peace and Reconciliation". Foster + Partners. Retrieved 18 October 2019.

External links[edit]