The Architectural Images of Capital City in the Context of the National
Independence of Kazakhstan
Manassova MM*, Zholdubayeva AK, Mukhanbet AA, Bolyssova KM and Altybassarova MA
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Kazakhstan.
- *Corresponding Author:
- Mira Manaskyzy Manassova
Al-Farabi Kazakh National University
Prospect of Al-Farabi 71, Almaty, Kazakhstan
Received Date: May 06, 2016; Accepted Date: May 29, 2016; Published Date: June 04, 2016
Citation: Manassova MM, Zholdubayeva AK, Mukhanbet AA, et al. The Architectural Images of Capital City in the Context of the National Independence of Kazakhstan. Global Media Journal. 2016, S3:10
Copyright: © 2016 Manassova MM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
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The fundamental characterization of the Astana architectural image in relation to the process of acquisition and development of the Kazakhstan national independence is implemented in this paper. This study is based on several core principles. First, the independence as a complete philosophical system is characterized by its variety and features, forms and ways of expression. Secondly, architectural form is the capitalization of the public domain and its values expressed by professional means, and showing a symbol of social aspirations, the visible embodiment of political independence, national security, and patriotic education. Thirdly, the social significance of architecture is the much more evident in those cities that are directly connected with execution of administrative powers. The search response will help to appeal to the history of the Kazakhstan capital construction - Astana and analysis of modern trends in its architectural image. When the created architectural buildings of Astana are applied on the real situation in Kazakhstan, it becomes apparent that its image reflected in specific monuments, buildings, and sculptures captures the historical strata of gaining national independence, the unity of the symbolic and functional beginnings, harmony of innovative and traditional, ancestral and revolutionary.
Kazakhstan; Astana; Independence; Architecture; National idea
The urban population have sharply increased in the history of the world. In 2010 almost the half of the world’s population, it is 3.5 billion people live in the city, to 2030 is expected the population growth in the city up to 5 billion . This situation causes considerable interest of representatives of various branches of scientific knowledge to the phenomenon of the city.
We agree with the opinion of E. N. Mastenicy , that “to understand “the soul of the city”, “log” in its cultural space and interact with him is possible only through a deep and comprehensive study”.
The process of a grand transformations of urban cultures is happening in a global world space. An American researcher Richard Florida  considers the modern city as a center of creativity, mobilization, development center for energetic people. According to his opinion, the creative rule ensures regional economic growth and these people prefer innovative, diverse and tolerant place.
The theme, stated in the title consists of many broad aspects. We will select only one of them: characterization of the fundamental symbol of the architectural image of Astana in relation to the process of acquisition and development of the national independence of Kazakhstan.
In sixteen years since its founding, Astana has become a symbol of new Kazakhstan, the city of "dynamically growing", the city with endless potential for creative growth, city of “cultural-semiotic contrasts”, which was the ground for extremely intense intellectual reflection of the city. However, Kazakhstan has experienced a coincidence of the processes of formation of a new state, new capital and the growth of national consciousness of Kazakhs that brought the problem of cultural and political identity . This situation is the same matrix that reproduces itself for thousands of years in all cities, acquiring the status of a world capital.
The idea of transferring the capital from Almaty to Astana first announced by the President in 1994 and perceived by society is ambiguous. Kazakhstan is going through hard times, “was smothered in a pile of problems and difficulties of the reform, reorganization and other “charms” transition period”, more relevant problems of economic . And thinking of people remained conservative, not ready to accept such concepts as private ownership, market, pluralism, freedom, and especially the transfer of the capital. But there was some extraordinary decision that would “shake up” the minds of people. This decision became the decision to move the capital. “Despite the absurdity of this approach, writes the President, I was more and more strengthened in the belief that to start and to continue the reforms can only be the case if one of the main issues of building a new state to raise the idea of new capital” . By the way, the construction of a new city at all times was considered a sign of a true ruler, is able to look far ahead and see the strategic necessity decisions for the fate of the country.
The possibility of consideration of the selected section is seen in the following point: the social significance of architecture is much more evident in those cities that are directly connected with execution of administrative powers. The response search will help to appeal to the history of the construction of Astana and analysis of modern trends in architectural image of the capital. This approach of the studies, in particular, is characteristic of the American scholar N. Koch , fulfilled in the work “The monumental and the miniature: Imagining ‘modernity’ in Astana” analysis of the phenomenon of Kazakhstan independence through monumental architecture of Astana; American expert in the field of urbanization J. R. Short , considering in his work “Urban Theory”, the impact of cities on the fundamental changes in the spatial organization of society and social organization of space; American Professor T. Mitchell , marking a direct connection between the monuments, buildings and other architectural objects with the “realm of meaning”, the presence of “synonym of social” in architectural practice.
The most significant and ever-present goal of Kazakhstan is the acquisition and development of independence. Independence testifies to the unity of the historical destiny of the people, their desire and ability to spiritual unity. Independence as a complete philosophical system is characterized by its variety and features, forms and ways of expression.
Capital is not just the main city of the country with concentrated power; this energy unites ensuring the growth and development of political, social, economic, cultural and other relations in the whole state . The image of the capital must meet specific requirements related to the main Metropolitan function - representation, presentation of the state.
As we know even from school textbooks: “architecture is a stone chronicle of the world”. Architecture is always visible, long-lasting, durable, as a frequent case with literature, music or painting. Moreover, the architecture is very specific and very tightly integrated into the context of time and history: the Regency in England of the early nineteenth century, Empire, Napoleonic France, the Russian farmstead of XVIII-XIX centuries...
The specific of architectural style is a necessary part of the general history of any country that enables you to present a holistic picture of the social process, is an indicator of the state that experienced by the society. Architecture, reflecting our world perception is visible and direct expression of political, social, and economic relations of society, and as a consequence becomes the means of its reciprocal identification, comprehension, and awareness. Its specificity is derived from fateful decisions of the society, and then there is no doubt, how the society comprehends itself and where it wants to move. Therefore, architectural form is the capitalization of the public domain and its values expressed by professional means, and showing a symbol of social aspirations.
Perhaps, there is no art which is more capital consuming than architecture. Any errors, returns and failures cost a fabulous loss to the society, which is not only financial, energetic, material, labor resources, but the most important are the cultural losses that directly affect the spiritual foundations of human society.
The importance of architectural objects in the life of any state is due to their involvement in the visible embodiment of its political independence, national security, and patriotic education. Monuments of architecture are filled with live content of our ideas about the development of society, help to understand many aspects of culture. Years and decades of construction cast random trends and built witnesses only truly sustainable and significant trends that have occurred in the history of the state and, post factum, decrypting the very social order dictated by society.
Thus, we come to our first conclusion: what we build today - it is a way of organizing space. As a way of organizing space - this is the real incarnation of the historical era, the fact that this era represents in the social and political sense. In other words, what is being built now is a representation of our society, of our independence.
It is possible that the architects would like to think that they set the tone of public consciousness, building houses, cities and countries. This is partly so, and a result of any activity, in its turn, has a certain influence on society, but it is secondary, it is a consequence of how public order is “considered”, expressed by professional means and materialized.
Currently, there are at least two distinct trends in architecture. The first is the search of triumphant architectural solutions. This trend sees architecture primarily as the art and highlights artistic and imaginative tasks. Moreover, the problem of finding architectural and artistic image was never before as prevalent as today.
Another important characteristic of modern architecture is its tendency to increased importance of social symbols and signs, the embodiment of a social sense, the dominance of symbolic and value motives [10,11]. Therefore, that brings us to our second conclusion: architectural piece is a synthetic product; generated by one person, it is the embodiment of many minds and hands, that is why it is the embodiment of real and actual reality.
For a new society, a new country, new capital must be fundamentally different architecture which is able to reflect the new rhythms of life and new ideas. Re-doing something in a new place without destroying the old, preserving its values and achievements, such kind of attempts were fulfilled earlier: Canberra in Australia, Ottawa in Canada, Manila in the Philippines, Islamabad in Pakistan, Washington in the United States, Ankara in Turkey, Astana in Kazakhstan and others.
Astana is a great section of the discussed problem with obvious signs of major changes demonstration of the Astana’s historical destiny. What is happening today with its architectural style, is the best proof of the absorbed richest trends of world culture, and reflects the historical milestones in the development of sovereign Kazakhstan as well. And this is definitely not a tribute to fashion and time. Our opinion we reinforce by conclusions of M. Arslan , describing Astana as the transformation from a small town into a source of pride for the Kazakh people and the work of American geographer S. Anacker  “Geographies of Power in Nazarbayev’s Astana”, indicating the growth of the national capital of Kazakhstan after the capital was moved from Almaty to Astana.
Ideas of national pride, national revival and selfdetermination, previously driven into depth, but behind the scenes accompanying age-old aspirations of the people, became the spiritual and material force that ensured the implementation of the selected social policy. The change of the architectural image of the capital city has become one of the ways of assertion of independence, a means of expressing national identity, approval of the new political status. Capital architectural ensemble creates a certain atmosphere, a mood, influencing the minds of the people, their character, life and creative behavior.
From the ideological side, the architectural style of Astana is characterized by the desire for expansion, forming a new image through the creation of symbols. Today Astana is perceived not just as an administrative center of the country where the authorities are located, and as the true symbol of transformation taking place in Kazakhstan, the rate of inexhaustible creative energy, an expression of people’s belief in their own strength, a symbol of hope and confidence of the nation in their future and the future of their descendants.
Method of research is based on an integrated approach to the study of the architectural environment of capital cities: search and systematization of contemporary and historical sources. Semantic approach to the study of the architectural image of the city - the capital of the state due to the communicative essence of the information architecture is applied, so in these studies the semantics serves as a method for studying the functions of the iconic architecture.
The architectural image of the capital reflects the specific monuments, buildings, sculptures of historical strata of national independence.
The transfer of the capital from Almaty to Astana has caused the growth of national consciousness, actualized the problem of cultural and political identity of Kazakhstan. Astana is becoming the dominant spiritual, economic and political life of Kazakhstan’s society. Birth of Astana was a manifestation of the active political will, and the growth and prosperity of the new capital associated with the growth and prosperity of the entire state. Architectural space represents a new text of Astana culture and forms of presentation of the Kazakh culture.
The article discusses the features of the spatial organization of the urban environment of the capital. It stresses the specificity of the architectural style. The significance of architectural objects in public life is due to the embodiment of the political independence, national security, patriotic education. Architectural monuments of the capital give the idea of the development of society, help to understand many aspects of contemporary culture. The image of the city is filled with ideas of national pride, national revival and selfdetermination, previously pounded deep.
The General plan of Astana was designed by famous Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa taking into account the ideas of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev on giving the capital of the Eurasian appearance. Kisho Kurokawa is known as the following projects author: the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the international airport in Kuala Lumpur, the national ethnological Museum in Osaka, “Zenit” stadium in St. Petersburg. The architectural masterpieces created by its general project combine modern design and Asian colour.
Astana has become a playground of ideas and for another famous architect from Britain’s Norman Foster, who built the Millennium Bridge and skyscraper-cucumber Swiss Re in London, the largest airport in the world in Beijing, renewed Bundestag building in Berlin and Commerzbank in Frankfurton- Main - the tallest skyscraper in Europe, rebuilt Wembley stadium in London and brought the famous tower for the Hearst Corporation in New York.
Many truly unique buildings of the capital are the works of domestic specialists: W. Valikhanov, S. Djambulatova, S. Smagulova, N. Dalby, S. Zhunusova, B. Taitalyeva, E. Jakybekova and others. Unique buildings of the city, erected by the domestic architects can decorate any metropolis in the world, and each of the new objects of the capital is deeply symbolic and expressive.
A young changing capital of Kazakhstan – is the symbol of creation and progress of the people of Kazakhstan. The 71 cities of the country, 432 construction companies took part in its construction and 135 factories supplied the construction with building materials. From 60 to 100 medium and large objects are annually put into operation. Astana today is one big construction site, as if growing from the spatial situation and perpetuating the art-figurative embodiment of the achievements of the country. All landscaping, including of the environment subject filling forms, shaping facades, rhythmic and large-scale operation of new architectural structures, colour texture solution here is subordinated to a single artistic and imaginative conception, shaping not only memorable image of the place, but the semantic integrity of the architectural ensemble.
According to the modern domestic culturologist K. Medeuova , Astana – in the intension of novelty comprises will to that in its structure it was reflected not only the world of the nomad of a nomad, but also the global world transliterated by economy of desires in structures of nomadic consciousness. Reflecting on civilization traditions and mentality of the Kazakh nomadic people, the intrinsic nature of the city and traditional forms of broadcast of culture, we, thereby, create a condition for comprehension of the world in general. Ambivalence of city and traditional modes of life is considered here not only as a current state of the Kazakhstan culture, but also as a condition of an exit from local isolation in a condition of openness to the world.
Certainly, new buildings became the decoration of modern Astana, unrecognizably changed the appearance of the city not only from the point of view of architecture, but also indicating the nature of social and ideological objectives, logistical capabilities and aesthetic ideals of our Kazakhstan. Demonstration of state independence goes along with active implementation in the architectural environment of the elements of the Kazakh national culture.
The arrangement of the metropolitan space has not been an easy task, since the construction on the new terrain demanded a precise selection of resources, special care, sense of compositional clarity - factors, which constitute the basis of the best samples of our architecture. Every year unique buildings appear in Astana, which can decorate by its style any metropolis in the world, and virtually each of the new objects of the capital is deeply symbolic, expressive and dynamic.
Peculiarity of the plan of Astana is its multi-focus composition, combining the quality of regional, national and international character. The centers of the legislative, judicial and executive powers geographically dispersed, setting the capital city scale and symbolizing the decentralization of power. The residence of the President “Ak Orda”, high-rise buildings of the houses of Parliament, the Supreme court, the monumental building of the House of ministries, National academic library - connect several main avenues of the city. Each building in the capital appearance is determined with external latest technological and technical conditions, and complied to architecture internal principles of architectural and artistic fulfillment.
For people space always means something. From this we can speak about the iconic nature of the city and try to build its semantic concept. This architectural and sculptural filling of the urban space can be interpreted as a book or a text entered by a person into the space. Buildings and books is nothing like two ways of writing: in stone and on paper . As the text, Astana is a system of signs carrying us with information and contain hidden meanings of Kazakh culture.
“Consideration of the cities included in the history of civilization as a text sui generis”, - says Yuri Lotman . On the object such as the city, some features of the text stand out more clearly. These include code heterogeneity - encrypted multiple codes, semiotic heterogeneity of subtext, contradictory, simultaneously seeking to form a unified text. Each text, in one way or another, has properties text art, every text in one way or another lifelike body. This is particularly evident in the approach to the city-text. On the example of Astana is evident.
Astana can rightly be considered a special, unique phenomenon of the Kazakh and world culture. At the same time, like the unique architecture of the city, a new Metropolitan culture is one of the nation’s conquests of the spiritual life of Kazakhstan . Therefore, the goal of the researchers of the new capital of Kazakhstan should become search of ways of reading the cultural text of the city, deciphering its cultural-semiotic code.
Astana is a bright example of the definite symptom of the situation that has developed in the modern culture of Kazakhstan. The new capital of Kazakhstan expresses the trend of the destruction of the “old” Soviet culture and the emergence of a new culture, which is based on a very different communicative space . It reflected the mentality of the epoch when a man is tired of reading heavy books or objectively does not have time for this, because almost all the time is allotted to the absorption of shaped fragments of new cultural phenomena, which abounds in Astana.
Appearance of Astana can be called a rupture, a new destiny of Kazakhstan, produced in people with conservative “Soviet” thinking in new sense of space. The new capital of Kazakhstan is open to absolute communicative exchange and perception of new architectural styles. Astana, like its residents, remains in formation, it is essentially not completed, disconnected in time and space .
One of the first buildings with a distinct figurative notional dominant is the Independence monument “Baiterek” (Figure 1), where everything is symbolic - Golden sun in the crown, height, and internal architecture, which embodies the three pillars of the universe.
Figure 1: The monument “Baiterek”.
The height of the building is 97 meters, which symbolizes 1997, the year of the new capital proclamation. The metal structure of the tower weighs over 1000 tones and stands on 500 piles. On the top there is a huge ball of glass with a diameter of 22 meters weighting 300 tons. Total height is 105 meters.
The basic idea, which reflects the “Bayterek” Monument, is the Tree of Peace, the idea of the Kazakh people of the universe. According to the legend, Baiterek is the tree of life, the destination of the sacred bird, Samruk. Its aims are hidden in his high crown, to lay a Golden egg - the Sun, the source of life and hope. Meanwhile, at the roots of the tree a hungry dragon Aydahar hides willing to eat the egg. It represents the eternal struggle between good and evil. Here flows the World River, on the banks of which stands the capital backing the sky with its crown, and roots hold the earth.
Today “Baiterek” is strongly associated by the international community not only with capital but also with the entire country. The authors of the monument managed to achieve harmony between modern technology and spiritual culture of the Kazakhs. Towering over the young capital, “Baiterek” has become not only an architectural monument, but also the embodiment of the cosmological ideas of the steppe people and modern architectural design, ancient legends and image of the future.
Also here is the hand print of the First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev - the symbol of the caring attitude of the people of Kazakhstan to peace on our planet. There is also the composition “Bata” - the blessing to the land and people of Kazakhstan of the seventeen world’s religious confessions leaders gathered in Astana in 2003.
Another well-known project that has become an iconic symbol of independent Kazakhstan IS the monument “Kazakh Eli” (Figure 2), which translation means “The country of the Kazakhs”. The threads of the past and the future of our country are united in this monument, symbolizing strength and power of the young state. The monuments entire significance reflects a thousand years of history and culture of the Kazakh people, symbolizes the year of Kazakhstan’s independence, purity of thoughts and high aspirations of the country. The height of the monument is 91 meters, which represents 1991, when Kazakhstan became an independent state. The overall composition of the monument conveys the meaning of the national idea of Kazakhstan: there are the decorative niches with the bas-reliefs from the four sides of the stele’s base: “The First President and people of Kazakhstan”, “Courage”, “Creation” and “Future”, which tells the highlights of the history of independence gaining. As well, four bronze basreliefs express the unity of the four sides of the world, emphasizing the location of the capital of Kazakhstan - the heart of the Eurasian continent and the development of the country in social, economic, political and spiritual aspects.
Figure 2: The monument “Kazakh Eli”.
The marble base of the monument represents the purity of thoughts and inter-ethnic harmony of the people of Kazakhstan. Stella staring up on top of which the sacred bird Samruk is installed, demonstrates the commitment of Kazakhstan to further development and prosperity. On the first plan there is the figure of the head of state at the time of the oath. His hand is on the Constitution. The meaning of this symbol is linked with the rhythm of the building and insight: we are united.
The triumphal arch “Mangilik El” (Figure 3) very accurately and succinctly expressing the sacredness of the city: if history and national culture has been passed through your heart, the architecture is born by itself. In the lower part at the base of each of the parties are volumetric sculptures, each with a height of 4.4 m. The sculpture of Aksakal (old man) is a symbol of wisdom, medium of spirituality and thought of the people. A sculpture of a Woman-Mother - Keeper of the hearth symbolizes such national values as “Otan Ana”, “Zher Ana”, “Ana tili”. In the niche of the facade facing the city on the left side of the figure sculpted a Warrior-nomad, and on the right is a Soldier of the modern Kazakh army. Statue of an ancient warrior-nomad displays heroic deeds and courage of Kazakh batyrs, and its stylistic image corresponds to the time of Anrakai battle. Under each of the figures, there is Kazakh solar symbol of Eternity. Among the Turkic peoples image of the solar sign served as a talisman against all evil, and was the source of light, warmth, life and goodness. In the upper part of each of the sculptures is the emblem of the Republic. On the top of the front is the inscription “Mangilik El”, which has deep historical roots and a great meaning. In the upper part of the facade the composition of complex ornamental element of the national flag is reflected. The whole composition is crowned by the symbolism of the national flag in the form of the sun and soaring eagle. In the language of symbols the eagle silhouette means the state power, latitude and sagacity. According to the ideology of the nation - it is a symbol of freedom, independence, commitment to the goal, to the height flight in the future.
Figure 3: The triumphal arch “Mangilik El”.
There are also a kind of niche on sides of the monument, with the symbolic figures of the “Tai-kazan”, symbolizing unity, hospitality and prosperity. The side walls are decorated with complex Kazakh ornaments, in the center of the upper part of which is the shield of the Kazakh warriors “Kalkan”. At all times it symbolizes protection from the threat, reliability, durability, victory. Inside of the arched doorway on both sides decorated with relief panels. The storyline of one of them reflects the depth of the history of the Kazakhs in symbolic periodization “Saki” – “Turks” – “Kipchaks” – “Kazakhs”. On the other side of the aperture, the panels subjects are dedicated to the main value of the nation - independence, which is revealed through the images of Ak Orda, Baiterek and other objects of modernity. Focus on the future transmitted relief image of youth. The structure is crowned by an extract from the first article of the Constitution of the Republic of Kazakhstan: “Republic of Kazakhstan proclaims itself a democratic, secular, legal and social state, the highest values are an individual, his life, rights and freedom”.
The Palace of Independence (Figure 4), a precisemultifunctional composite structure, where formal ceremonies, up to international summits at the highest level and cultural events can be held. It is also the historical “treasury” of Kazakhstan - the valuable exhibits kept here, such as the Golden man, Sarmatian warrior, Berel horses, and various mysterious stones with interesting ancient inscriptions are kept. The structure of the Palace of Independence includes the Congress hall, Ceremonial hall, the Press-center, the Gallery of applied art and Ethnography, archaeology and anthropology, the Gallery of modern art, the Museum of the city of Astana, cinemas, electronic library, and the model hall.
Figure 4: The Palace of Independence.
The Pyramidal Palace of Peace and Accord Reconciliation (Figure 5), which embodies the interfaith community, religious tolerance, goodwill and secularism of the Kazakhstan society. The idea of the construction of the Palace of Peace and Accord in the capital of Kazakhstan was the commitment of the Republic to conduct a constructive discussion with the aim of finding common response to new, unconventional threats and challenges. It discusses issues related to freedom of religion, the role of religious leaders in strengthening international security, bringing together the world’s religions for conflicts resolution.
Figure 5: The Pyramidal Palace of Peace and Accord Reconciliation.
The uniqueness of this building is not only the purpose for which it was built, but in the calculation used to plan the geometric principle of the “Golden section of Fibonacci”, crowned by a huge glass dome, depicting 130 doves, representing multinational Kazakhstan. At night, the glowing dome, like a beacon showing the way to the pyramid is the symbol of unity of different religions, cultures and peoples.
None of the capitals of the world is not complete without the President’s Residence, and Astana is no exception. The residence is a compositional center of the town-planning ensemble. As the key points of the major axis of the architectural complex of Astana are: “Khan Shatyr” – “Baiterek” - “Akorda” – “Palace of Peace and Accord” – “Kazakh Eli”. The compositional axis of the architectural ensemble embodies the ideas of preserving the traditions of the great steppe, promotion of Eurasian culture of tolerance and creation of strong Kazakhstan as part of modern civilization.
Name of residence “Ak orda” (Figure 6) has a deep meaning: the literal translation of “Akorda” means “white rate”. The color of the facades and interiors of the residence is dominated by white color and light colors. “White” in the semantics of Turkic culture firstly means Holy (sacred). This concept embodies the joy and well-being, sincerity and nobility, honor and goodness. The name “Ak orda” dates back to the Eastern name of the first centralized state in the territory of modern Kazakhstan White Horde, in Russian Chronicles referred to as the Golden Horde. Kazakhstan emphasize that the residence “Ak orda” symbolizes the revival and rise of the sovereign Kazakhstan. Metaphorically it reflects the steppe civilization in the mirror of European culture, arts a synthesis of the largest continent - Eurasia. Kazakhstan artists’ works exhibited at the residence compose the necessary balance of East and West, which is the pride of Kazakhstan, positioning itself as a state that unites culture of great civilizations.
Figure 6: The President’s Residence.
The aesthetic value of the composition of the city centre depends on the artistic qualities and techniques of placement of architectural forms from the point of view of their perception “from the perspective of the human eye”. Such are the four perceptions of the spatial composition in the center of Astana: President’s Residence “Ak Orda”, the Administration building and the Parliament building, Independence Square with the Monument and the cultural and entertainment area with the building of the circus. Kurokawa proposed to alternate the height of these buildings that will add dynamic expression of spatial composition of the building. City center is designed on the principle of a peculiar rhythmic song in “concert” performance with tempo changes, and musical variations that create a special atmosphere of the urban environment .
The idea of excess space was carried out in a futuristic “Khan Shatyr” (Figure 7) a huge conical design with transparent suspended layer. The essence of the idea is the traditional images of the Kazakh yurts and tent, combined in a planetary conical shape. “Khan Shatyr”, crowning the Northern end of the axis of the new city, rises on two hundred meters’ ellipsoid basement. The name itself prefaces the magnificent spectacle that should be seen: transparent mass of steppe tent as if delivered by a nomad giant.
This line of architectural-shaped filling can be seen in the capital’s monuments, which are poignant and thoughtprovoking. The range of forms and genres is unusually wide: monuments, combining architecture and sculpture, historical monuments and portrait, genre urban and decorative green plastic.
For example, the monument of “Fatherland Defenders” (Figure 8) - 40-meter stella consisting of 101 ears and symbolizing the unity of all nationalities living in Kazakhstan. This memorial has become a kind of edification descendants, calling for unity and harmony, peace and prosperity.
Figure 8: The monument of “Fatherland Defenders”.
Sculptural fountain (Figure 9), located on the New town square is the only symbolic structure, sending the eternal cycle of life. The main purpose of the monument is an affirmation of the unity and prosperity of the country, the succession of generations and focus on the future. The Tree of life is in the centre of the fountain, which symbolically represents the Trinity of the universe: the roots mean our ancestors, barrel – the present in which we live, the crown - the future of our descendants.
Complex of sculptures and fountains, located on the Central city square, reflects the greatness and power of our state. Small children standing on either side of the fountain represent the future of our country.
Wolf (Figure 10) and leopard - sacred symbols and totem deity of our distant ancestors, protect children and reflect the immediate danger.
Figure 10: The sculpture of leopard.
Modern Kazakhstan is considered an urbanized country, 56% of the people live in the cities. The peculiarity of the modern Kazakhs is a synthesis of modern and traditional values . The monument of justice (Figure 11), representatives the succession of ancient traditions of fairness, equality, national unity. The three curly tracks represents the three great Bi, national leaders - Tole-bi, Kazybek-bi, Aiteke-bi, who became symbol of unity for the Kazakhs.
Figure 11: The monument of justice.
Three hundred years ago they joined clans, tribes and hordes by their will, wisdom, authority. In a dramatic period of struggle of the Kazakh khanate against the Dzungar invasion at the end of XVII – beginning of XVIII century they were able to rally the people to exit the crisis, preserve and reaffirm their ethnic group. Monument grey-haired wisdom of national unity and the harsh justice of the steppe echoes the words of the great Tole-bi: “the Bird of happiness overshadows the only one who does not sow enmity but friendship, not strife, but unity, not evil, but good, not a lie but the truth”.
Architecture becomes a model for philosophy building. It provides a certain tradition of philosophy, range of problems and their solutions and ways of seeing the universe. In the end it turns out that architecture cannot be separated from its image, as the philosophy took on the image of architecture and aspired to be like it. The result is ambivalence about the philosophy of architecture, without which the philosophy can’t work [19,20].
The peculiarity of the spatiality of Astana is its theatricality. There is a unique consistency immense architectural ensemble, not disintegrating in cities with a long history, the diachronic land sites that really create a sense of scenery in Astana. Central streets and squares of Astana amaze the viewer of the brevity, even the Europeans, who are accustomed to the neighborhood of Romanesque and Baroque, Gothic and classicist architecture, astonished to see a unique beauty of architectural ensembles of the city.
There are still many memorable buildings of our capital, not yet mentioned, whose symbolic content fully embodies significant changes in the historical fate of Kazakhstan since independence. For such a small historical period Astana has become a modern metropolis, a recognized center of political, economic, scientific and socio-cultural life, actively influencing all spheres of dynamic development of the state and society.
Today Astana attracts the attention of the international community by its youth, by its focus on the future, peace initiatives and striking architecture (Alpysbaeva 2008). At the highest level meetings of heads of states and governments are held of such international organizations as the Shanghai cooperation organization (SCO), the Commonwealth of independent States (CIS), Eurasian economic community (EurAsEC), the Organization of collective security Treaty (CSTO), the OSCE summits, Asian winter games, the world Kurultai of Kazakhs, the Astana economic forum and other recognizing the highest potential of our capital was represented by the decision to hold the world exhibition “EXPO-2017” in Astana.
July 16, 1999, the Secretary-General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor handed Astana a medal and a certificate of the winner of the International competition “Cities for peace”. This rank is given to the new cities of the world, which were able to achieve within a short time impressive achievements in socioeconomic, political and cultural development, implemented aims to strengthen inter-ethnic and inter-confessional cooperation. Since that time, Astana is the title of “World City”.
Today Astana and Kazakhstan are indivisible, and, speaking about Astana, we refer to our country as a whole. As a result of the constitutional reform in 2007 of the legal status of the capital was enshrined in the basic law. Paragraph 3 of article 2 of the Constitution now stipulates that the capital of Kazakhstan is Astana. That increases not only the credibility of the capital, but also imposes a huge responsibility for its future. Now it is a constitutional requirement. And the task of all the people of Kazakhstan lies in the fact that Astana became a model capital at the international level, a catalyst for sustainable development of the Republic, bright, prosperous, consolidating and forward-looking city.
Astana has become the pride of new Kazakhstan, the symbol of the approval of the national idea and unification of the country. Kazakhstan’s future is inextricably linked with the future of Astana, which until recently was seen as the "new capital", and is now an integral part of the new image of Kazakhstan, the country looking into the XXI century.
In conclusion, I would like to once again focus on the following: when applying established architectural buildings of Astana the real situation in Kazakhstan, it becomes apparent that its image reflected in specific monuments, buildings, sculptures captures the historical strata of gaining national independence, the unity of the symbolic and functional beginnings, harmony innovative and traditional, ancestral and revolutionary.
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