In addition to representing the world’s religious faiths, the Palace houses a 1,500-seat opera house, educational facilities, and a national centre for Kazakhstan’s various ethnic and geographical groups. This programmatic diversity is unified within the pure form of a pyramid, 62 metres high with a 62 x 62-metre base. Clad in stone, with glazed inserts that allude to the various internal functions, the pyramid has an apex of stained glass by the artist Brian Clarke. Spatially, it is organised around a soaring central atrium, which is animated by shifting coloured light patterns. A glass lens in the floor of the atrium casts light down into the auditorium and creates a sense of vertical continuity from the lowest level of the building to the very peak. The assembly chamber is raised at the top of the building, supported on four inclined pillars − ‘the hands of peace’. Lifts take delegates to a garden-like reception space from where they ascend to the chamber via a winding ramp.

Facts + Figures

  • Appointment: 2004
  • Completion: 2006
  • Capacity: 1500
  • Client: Sembol Construction
  • Collaborating Architect: Tabanlioglu Architecture & Consulting (Istanbul)