Khan Shatyr in Astana

Have you ever thought that you can find a beach resort in a huge tent in the middle of a landlocked country where the weather drops to -30 degrees Celsius in winters on average? Well in 2010, what might have seemed to be a crazy idea has become a reality. Built in a unique neofuturist style, Khan Shatyr ( “The Royal Marquee”) is a giant transparent tent in Astana. The 150m (500 ft) long tent has a 200m elliptical base covering 140,000 square metres (14 ha; 35 acres). Underneath the tent, an area larger than 10 football stadiums, is an urban-scale internal park, shopping and entertainment center with squares and cobbled streets, a boating river, minigolf course and an indoor beach resort that maintains a temperature of +35 degrees Celsius even in the coldest and harshest weather conditions. The architecture of this truly distinctive work of engineering, has become an embodiment of Astana’s futuristic flair. According to Forbes Style magazine, Khan Shatyr is in the top 10 list of the world’s greatest eco friendly structures, making it the only construction from the CIS to enter this list. Photo credit: khanshatyr.com, skybeach.kz