The Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center rises 492 feet from an elliptical base, making its net and cable tensile structure the world’s tallest. The enclosed urban park in Astana, Kazakhstan, hosts entertainment venues, restaurants, cinemas and shops in a challenging climate that can range in extremes from -31 degrees F in winter to 95 degrees in summer.
Foster + Partners, London, England, designed the three-layer ETFE membrane envelope to control temperature and energy use while allowing daylight through to provide a comfortable environment year-round. To prevent the formation of ice on the inside of the envelope during winter, architects Linea Tusavul Architecture and Gultekin Architecture designed the climate-control system to direct warm air currents up the inner surface of the fabric, a strategy that also prevents downdrafts. The outermost foil layer provides solar shading during summer months, low-level jets direct cool air across the indoor space, and vents at the apex of the cone-like structure induce stack-effect ventilation.