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Khan Shatyr: World's Largest Tent In Astana, Kazakhstan (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 07/29/10 08:52 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 06:10 PM ET


The world's biggest tensile structure, the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center, opened in Astana, Kazakhstan earlier this month to a lot of fanfare.  This Norman Foster designed structure is not only the largest tent in the world -- but has plenty of impressive green features from copious natural daylighting to interior gardens and living systems.  Measuring 150 meters tall with a 200 meter radius and 100,000 square meters contained within the translucent canopy, this is one of the most visually striking projects we've seen this year. Read on to see Inhabitat's exclusive photos of the world's biggest tent.

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Developed by Foster + Partners to be a center piece for the new capital city of Astana, Kazakhstan, the project had to withstand the extreme temperature swings of the elevated and arid region. Although the outside temperature varies from -35 degrees to +35 degrees Celsius, the interior maintains a hospitable 15-30 degrees. To prevent condensation in the winter, three translucent layers of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene fabric or EFTE act to channel warm air. In the summer, cooler air displaces the hot air vented from the top. The transparency and scale of the tent stands out in the skyline like a beacon, changing colors at night and streaming in natural light during the day.
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Filed by Travis Donovan  |