Located in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, the Palace of Peace and Reconciliation is a 77 m high building that can also be translated as the Pyramid of Peace and Accord. It was completed at the end of 2006 and it cost around $58 million. The structure was set by Sembol Construction.
Part of the building is shaped as a pyramid and this section of the building is 62 m high, sitting on an earth covered block. It’s above ground level, of course. The landscape of the park seems to cover the lower levels, but these are not the basements. The main design was handled by the British architects Foster and Partners.
Their partners were the Turkish architects from Tabanlıoğlu Architecture who took care of the construction information packages. The structural and services part of the deal was handled by the engineers Buro Happold.Nigel Dancey, Lee Hallman and Peter Ridley were the lead designers from Foster and Partners.
The final details and finishes were decided by Sembol Construction,who were responsible for the Design and Build contract. The details and finishes chosen by Sembol Construction were very different from the ones that Foster and Tabanlıoğlu initially picked.
The concept is simple: there are five “storeys” of triangles, every triangle has 12 m on a side. The 5 portions are divided in the following way: the 3 lower parts are made of pale granite, the upper two portions (4 triangles per side) form a glazed apex. Brian Clarke chose a design of stained glass which incorporated doves for the glazed apex.
Steel frame and concrete was chosen for the lower levels of the pyramid. They had to take into consideration that the building will expand and contract because of the major climate variations (over 80°C, from -40 to over 40°C).The decision was to expand the building up to 30 cm.
The Pyramid’s purpose was to include a 1,500-seat opera house in the lower level. The opera has an auditorium and design by Anne Minors Performance Consultants. Sound Space Design took care of the acoustics. The Pyramid also hosts the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions.