DESIGNED TO RISE like a giant steel and glass Christmas tree from a peninsula along the Moscow River, Crystal Island, if built, would be the world’s biggest building as measured in floor space-four times the size of the mammoth Pentagon. Foster + Partners, the British firm that designed it, calls it “a city in microcosm,” with hotels, apartments, offices and shops. The superstructure would act as a thermal buffer, sealed to prevent heat loss during the cold Russian winter and open to breezes in the summer. Moscow, enjoying oil- and gas-fueled prosperity, is in the midst of a construction boom.
Copyright AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR ENGINEERING EDUCATION Summer 2008
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