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Central City Esplanade. Nurly Tau Mixed-Use Development
Location: Almaty
Design: 2003
 
The construction site is located in the southern part of Almaty north of Al Farabi Avenue and south of Mahatma Gandhi Street, as well as between the newly opened Western Zheltoksan Street and Eastern Zheltoksan Street. Taking into account the elaborated master plan, the authors proposed that a modern urban environment with developed infrastructure shall be created on this site, to be blended in the urban fabric born in symbiosis of Asian and European cultures.
 
The new planned urban ensemble is created by the enfilade layout of squares, on either side of which there are buildings of variable number of storeys, with 6 to 25 terraced storeys. The mall, exhibition center, cinemas, entertainment facilities are located among high-rise volumes along the center line of the enfilade. High- rise volumes are designed for apartments and offices. All ground floors accommodate the public service facilities -retails, cafes, restaurants, small and medium-sized enterprises, etc. All these facilities work directly for the esplanade, enliven it and attract people. The basements are occupied by two-level car parks, mechanical rooms and utilities.
 
The architectural image of the mixed-use development is dictated by its location according to the urban-planning design, social significance of the facility and the need for the silhouette dominant in the urban fabric. The proposed volumetric and spatial architectural composition of the built-up environment suggests the architectural image of Alatau mountain peaks, their crystal clear glaciers and rivers, while being their reflection at the same time. The esplanade is a «river» flowing down the spurs of mountains decorated with flower gardens, fountains, hardscape elements and summertime recreation areas. The buildings and squares of the mixed-use development are oriented along the north-south axis to allow the evening mountain breeze flow along the entire mixed-use development.
 
Each glass building of the mixed-use development resembles the eighteen-facet crystal - external walls are filled with multiple glass units available in silver-blue light-reflecting and tempered glass. Many angles of reflection from facades allowed to achieve a visual effect of volume, accentuate the shape of building and integrate it seamlessly into its surroundings.