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    Crystal Island in the SkyscraperPage Database

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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 1:42 AM
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MOSCOW | Crystal Island | 1,476 FT / 450 M | FLOORS ?

Foster plans world’s biggest building
Chris Gourlay and Robert Watts

MOSCOW’S boomtown skyline will be dominated by the world’s biggest structure, a £2 billion “city inside a building” designed by Lord Foster.

Reaching almost 1,500ft into the sky and housing up to 30,000 residents, the Crystal Island will contain more floor space than any other structure on Earth.

Foster, whose recent British projects include the new Wembley stadium and “the Gherkin” office block in the City of London, said the tower is “the world’s most ambitious building” and symbolic of Russia’s renaissance as a world power.

However, some observers have likened the new Moscow skyscraper to a “Christmas tree” and dismissed it as “brash” and “vulgar”.

Vast and ornate, the Crystal Island will be twice as wide as the Millennium Dome and nearly double the height of Canary Wharf tower, the closest London has to a skyscraper. Inside there will be 27m sq ft of floor space – four times as much as the Pentagon building in Washington.

“I am very excited about this project – there is no equivalent to it anywhere in the world,” said Foster. “It is the first time anyone has tried to combine homes, cultural centres, offices and parkland in one project.”

As well as 900 apartments and 3,000 hotel rooms, the project will include an international school for 500 pupils, a cinema, museum, theatre, sports complex and dozens of shops.

The site will also contain one of Moscow’s largest public spaces, with platforms 980ft above the ground giving panoramic views over the city’s skyline. Parkland around the complex will offer cross-country skiing and ice-skating in the winter.

Foster compared the project to the Albert Hall, opened in London by Queen Victoria in 1871 in the heyday of the British Empire. “When countries are doing well again you often see these large iconic buildings appearing,” he said.

The tower spirals downwards from a sharp peak with a glass facade that resembles cut crystal. The building has an atrium that will open in summer to cool the 500ft-high public open space inside.

Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European studies at Oxford University, said the Crystal Island was inextricably linked with Russia’s bold ambitions for the 21st century.

“Russia is a state that feels it is coming back after the humiliation of the cold war,” said Garton Ash. “You see it in everything [President Vladimir] Putin says and you see it in this building, a bold demonstration of might and success – not just to Russians but to the world.”

Orlando Figes, professor of history at Birkbeck College, London, said the building was “eerily reminiscent” of the Tatlin’s tower, a sinister monument that was nearly built by the communists in St Petersburg shortly after the 1917 revolution.

“This building is everything that Moscow is today – confidently thrusting, brash, vulgar,” Figes said.

The proposed site for the Crystal Island is a peninsula located five miles from the city centre. Flights into Moscow’s Domodedovo airport bank sharply over the proposed site shortly before landing.

Alexander Kudryatsev, president of the Moscow Architectural Institute, said: “Everyone’s first impression of this was, what is it – a Christmas tree?

The Crystal Island won preliminary planning permission 10 days ago and could be completed within six years.

Last year Foster’s firm unveiled plans for a vast leisure complex in Kazakhstan enclosed in a dome inspired by the yurt of Genghis Khan. His new terminal for Beijing airport will open early next year and construction of his Russia tower, a 2,000ft-high skyscraper, is already under way in Moscow.
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Renderings can be seen at:

http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/26/...ing-to-moscow/
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 2:13 AM
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 9:54 AM
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That thing looks stupid.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 10:47 AM
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hmmm...

Is this possible?


The color is ugh.. and the size is HUGE! What I don't get is what the point of the tower is. Almost half of the tower would be spire and the other half would be extra large floor plates.

O.K. I love green buildings and the concept is nice, BUT unless there is a large atrium deep inside the heart of the structure I doubt much natural light will be in the inside of the floors even if they do add atriums around the outside of the building.

It looks cool in this pic though:

On that image above it looks like it could actually work if it was (as the name states) crystal blue, diamond-ish blue, or a very light baby/sky blue.

All images from this site
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 3:23 PM
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Well, at 1500', its roof looks to be at about 700'.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 3:48 PM
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It is ugly. I don't understand why you wouldn't put the same amount of space in a true 450m building or a pair of 300m buildings. The huge floor plates at the lower levels seem awkward and would make it difficult to get from one part of the building to the other. The strange spire seems like a huge waste of materials, it should at least contain a observation deck or broadcast function.
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Old Posted Dec 28, 2007, 11:41 PM
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Spires usually contain antennas too so this one will most likely contain a broadcasting antenna/station as well. There would be an observation deck at 980 ft.
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 12:52 AM
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Top floor is supposed to be at 150m.
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 1:05 AM
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 1:34 AM
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The structure as a whole is pretty monumental, and I see the quality in that...but a observation deck at 980? Really. Is this the tallest in a considerable radius? 980 is nothing to write home about in this day and age...hasn't been for quite some time.

Last edited by jc5680; Dec 29, 2007 at 1:34 AM. Reason: typo
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 2:10 AM
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Hmm... negative comments... interesting... on SCC it has been generally met with enthusiastic approval.

In any case, those who do not like this proposal need not to bother - it will not be built in Omaha or that "The best metro area" anyway. It will be built in Moscow. I am from Moscow, and I like this tower. Seems like a pretty harmoniuos arrangement to me.

http://agency.archi.ru/images_linked...9&img_id=17734









also, a diagram by Avior

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Last edited by anm; Dec 29, 2007 at 11:19 PM.
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 4:36 AM
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I like it. Great counterpoint to the skyscraper... its more like a giant crystalline pimple on the ground - a sort of 'Eiffel Tower meets Blobitecture.' Michael Sorkin didn't help design this, did he? Maybe Foster just borrowed the ideas from him and Paolo Soleri... and it appears that it will minimize its eco-footprint on the ground at the same time.

Just think about how much light a normal skyscraper blocks - yet they have less actual usable floor area. This thing (hopefully) will be super efficient.

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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 5:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoolCzech View Post

Vast and ornate, the Crystal Island will be twice as wide as the Millennium Dome and nearly double the height of Canary Wharf tower, the closest London has to a skyscraper.
Anyone else catch this? The tone of this article is ridiculous.

Anyway, after looking at the comparisons in the diagram it doesn't look all that impressive (i.e. massive) but I'm sure that it would look nicer (and larger) in person. But it's very much like those buildings in simcity (I forget their names). I say build it, why not?
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 5:20 AM
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Yes, it is very much like the Eiffel Tower. It could turn out very impressive and elegant.
But it isn't very efficient land use wise. As the comparison to other buildings show, any dense urban core would beat this for floor area for the same land area. But for the island it's located on, it's not bad. And there's no cars, so it's a very pedestrian experience over a large area, which is good.

Is that map making a relation between this and the Kremlin?
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Old Posted Dec 29, 2007, 9:14 PM
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Quote:
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Is that map making a relation between this and the Kremlin?
Yes. The red circle is Garden Ring.
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Last edited by anm; Dec 30, 2007 at 12:52 AM.
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2008, 10:32 PM
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Old Posted Jan 4, 2008, 11:23 PM
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I guess count me in as one who doesn't get the point of this building. What are they going to use the ridiculously large floorplates for? Merchandise Mart in Chicago, currently the worlds largest privately owned building by floor area, has a hard enough time filling itself up and its smaller than this.

Why have impractically large floor plates combined with impractically large antennae?

Other than being confused as to the practicality and purpose of such a design, I really like how it looks...

PS the reason the people at SCC give this rave reviews is because they give everything that is big and tall praise, they generally don't seem to give much thought to deeper issues over there...
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2008, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
I guess count me in as one who doesn't get the point of this building.
The point is simple - making a project unlike any other. In my opinion, the project is quite wastefull, unnecessary and almost useless, yet it makes up for it by being a beautiful, unique and innovative landmark. And this landmark status is the one thing that will fill all that floor space with tenants.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2008, 12:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nowhereman1280 View Post
I guess count me in as one who doesn't get the point of this building. What are they going to use the ridiculously large floorplates for? Merchandise Mart in Chicago, currently the worlds largest privately owned building by floor area, has a hard enough time filling itself up and its smaller than this.

Why have impractically large floor plates combined with impractically large antennae?

Other than being confused as to the practicality and purpose of such a design, I really like how it looks...

PS the reason the people at SCC give this rave reviews is because they give everything that is big and tall praise, they generally don't seem to give much thought to deeper issues over there...
Another thing that would fill the floor space is have you ever thought there might actually be the demand for it. Unlike merchandise mart where there was never full demand for that much space to be injected into the market.

Aside from that I quite like the design. Very futuristic yet not overwhelminly so; very elegant.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2008, 1:01 AM
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Quote:
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... In my opinion, the project is quite wastefull, unnecessary and almost useless, yet it makes up for it by being a beautiful, unique and innovative landmark...
What about Eiffel Tower? Does it really serve any purpose at all (other than aesthetic)? IMO this project will be inifinitely more practical than Eiffel Tower.

@Nowhereman1280

Moscow, with its difficult climate and dilapidating Soviet-era buildings that are being knocked down needs a lot of modern indoor space, so do not fret about occupancy.

from http://www.inhabitat.com/2007/12/26/...ing-to-moscow/

"The statistics for the project are absolutely staggering; floor area alone will be four times the size of Pentagon in Washington DC. The incredible 1500 ft. tall multi use structure will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex and much more. There will also be a 16,500 space underground parking lot for all the visitors. The Crystal Island visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Moscow on the viewing platforms located 980 ft. above ground."
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