If Astana, Kazakhstan, can do it…

…why can’t Regina, Saskatchewan? Heck, if you squint, the two names are practically identical.

“It,” in this case, is cover 100,000 square metres of downtown space with a giant, semi-transparent, climate-controlled tent. (Shades of the domed cities so beloved of old-time science fiction writers.)

To whit:

The Khan Shatyry entertainment centre in Astana will become a dramatic civic focal point for the capital of Kazakhstan, the soaring structure, at the northern end of the new city axis, rises from a 200m elliptical base to form the highest peak on the skyline of Astana. The 100,000sqm centre’s unique concept – to provide a sheltered environment embracing an urban-scale internal park, shopping and entertainment venue – was developed in response to the harsh climate of extreme weather in both winter and summer. The building will become a lively public space and an unprecedented amenity for the people of Astana which can be used throughout the year.

Held by a mast, the vast tent-like cable net structure is clad in ETFE, a material that allows light to wash the interior spaces while sheltering them from extreme weather conditions.

Just a word about the “harsh climate of extreme weather in both winter and summer.”

From Wikipedia‘s article on Astana:

The average annual temperature in Astana is 1 degrees Celsius. January is the coldest month with an average temperature of -16 degrees Celsius. July is the hottest month with an average temperature of 20 degrees Celsius.

We’re within spitting distance: Regina’s average annual temperature is 2.8 C, with January being our coldest month with an average temperature of -16.2 and July being our hottest with an average temperature of 18.8.

So can we have a big tent, too? Please? Pretty please, with snow on top?

Permanent link to this article: https://edwardwillett.com/2006/12/if-astana-kazakhstan-can-do-it/


    • Edward Willett on December 12, 2006 at 5:24 pm
    • Reply

    So they’d wear a skirt. 🙂

    • Ian H. on December 12, 2006 at 2:12 pm
    • Reply

    That is a sweet concept… you might have trouble fitting it over the McCallum-Hill buildings, though…

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