Nur-Sultan, formerly Astana, is the capital of Kazakhstan – and an architectural wonderland.
After Kazakhstan’s independence, it was decided in the late 1990s to make the city then known as Aqmola the capital and rename it Astana. Within just a few years, an ultra-modern, very sprawling metropolis was built out of the ground in the middle of the steppe, on the banks of the river Ishim. And it is really impressive – in a beautiful and strange way.
Planned by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, numerous international architects such as Norman Foster or Manfredi Nicoletti let off steam here with gigantic and unusual buildings. The result is a postmodern potpourri of all kinds of styles. Sometimes Nur-Sulatn looks like a futuristic hypercity, sometimes like a central Asian Disneyland.
One thing is clear: space is no problem here. And there are (almost) no limits to the imagination.