Moscow’s rapidly growing skyline will soon feature an eye-popping new addition: Crystal Island, which will be the world’s biggest building when completed. Sir Norman Foster’s mountainous 27 million square feet spiraling “city within a building” will cost $4 billion and it is scheduled to be built within next 5 years.
The Crystal Island will be Lord Foster’s second large scale project in the Russian capital, and his third new building design that resembles a volcano (we’re talking about his two mountainous buildings in Astana, Kazakstan). Although many people are calling this design the ‘Christmas Tree’ of Moscow - we can’t help but be reminded of the utopian and also rather volcanic X-Seed 4000 design for Tokyo. Unlike that pipe-dream project, however, Foster has a track record of getting buildings built, so the likelihood is high that we will see this striking structure towering over the Kremlin within 5 years time.
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.
And as we’d expect from Foster + Partners, this soon-to-be world’s biggest building will also incorporate a number of sustainable design features into the overall scheme. The exterior facade will be solar responsive and will include solar panels which, along with wind turbines, will generate electricity for the huge tower. Natural ventilation will be provided thanks to numerous strategically placed large atriums. The internal environment will also have dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing that will allow daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the structure; the panels will also be controlled to modify temperature inside the building – closed in winter for extra warmth and opened in summer to allow natural ventilation. Energy management is at the heart of this structure, several on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation projects are planned.