The year is 2013. The place is Moscow, Russia. Welcome to Crystal Island, the worlds largest structure. The world’s first true archology.
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.
From the official Foster + Partners site:
The tent-like superstructure rises to 450m, and forms a breathable second skin and thermal buffer for the main building, shielding the interior spaces from Moscow’s extreme summer and winter climates. Providing accommodation that is flooded with daylight, this second skin will seal itself in winter to minimise heat losses, and open in summer so that the interior can be cooled naturally. Efficient energy management is at the heart of the design, with strategies including on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation.
Its weird that not two decades ago, all the near-future fictionists were saying that the Japanese would be the ones to do this. Build the first self-contained building city, I mean. Most of people were still predicting Russia to still be a smoldering-post Cold War crater of insanity at that point, not a self-empowered near-totalitarian super state. And now we can see how fast times can change. Japan is becoming more and more like the US; bloated, impotent, mentally questionable and obsessed with their own trite pop culture. While Russia has become everything we thought Japan would become; a state that uses its people as tools, where the lines between criminal, statesman, corporation and soldier are so blurred that they might as well not exist. Crystal Island is the new face of the future. Which is good, because Russia is a much scarier future. The Japanese fight with honor and superiority. Russians fight with broken bottles, cold and nihilism. And they fight dirty. And dirty fights are always more fun to watch.