Architectural utopia guide shows foundation myth encoded into the breathtaking architecture of city of Astana, Kazakhstan

On the surface, Astana seems to embody ostentation, nationalistic megalomania, and even Masonic symbolism; however, behind this gilded veil is an urban narrative of substance, meaning, and power.

In an age dominated by the fear of religious violence, nuclear destruction, and environmental catastrophe, Astana offers a prescriptive urban salve in which architecture and city planning are the instruments of a global message that seeks to fundamentally change our world.

Astana’s glass and steel masterpieces, its luxury hotels, megamalls, national monuments, and public institutions, provide a blueprint of three basic solutions for the necessary betterment of civil society: religious tolerance, nuclear disarmament, and planetary sustainability, an architectural guide to Utopia.

These three messages form the basis of a foundation myth that is communicated through the most significant buildings in the Kazakhstani capital, from Bayterek Tower to the Monument of Independence. Together, these buildings provide the bedrock of a universal tale about the rise of civilization and the peaceful co-existence of the human family.

Astana Futuristic Utopian City Scape Fireworks, Alamy Stock Photography

If you like the works of Joseph Campbell you will love this book by Frank Albo. When I first picked up the book I was a little daunted by the subject matter but as soon as I opened its pages I was immediately entranced. The colour images are enough to keep one turning the pages but it is also a beautiful story about an amazing nation that emerged from the ashes of Soviet despotism in 20th century to become global leader in nuclear disarmament, the sustainability of the planet, and religious extremism. This book offers a unique solution as seen through the lens of Astana’s breathtaking architecture. Kazakh people almost perished in one of the worst environmental disasters - the drying up of the Aral Sea, they were also a testing ground for Russian missiles and nuclear bombs, and according to Dr. Albo, they represent one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations on the Earth - so who better to guide us through these times of uncertainty than past survivors of the very things that threaten us as a human race? Professor Albo unpacks his thesis in the form of a “foundation myth” and he shows how Astana’s buildings are suffused with cultural symbolism and meaning (if you know how to read them). I will be buying this book for everyone in my family this Christmas and hopefully one of my relatives will solve the secret message in the book and get to take me on a first class trip to Astana! Huge props Dr. Albo. Great book!
— Rosalyn Bigornia

The longing to recreate a perfect society runs through the whole of civilization and has underscored the foundations of modern America.

Astana provides an ideal model of a city that acknowledges the environmental limits of urban growth, while promoting greener livelihoods, cultural diversity, and a vibrant civic life directed toward happiness, health and the fulfillment of human needs.

Does Astana, the shimmering capital of Kazakhstan, veil a pan-national epic that heralds a new era of global cooperation?

Separate fact from fiction and find out how an underground stream of design principles and ideas permeates the layout and construction of the most extraordinary, futuristic city ever conceived, in Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny, an architectural guide to creating utopia. 

Discover how The Master Plan of Astana fuses fantasy architecture with mystical notions of geometry, biological growth, ecological preservation, and urban metabolism.

Excerpted from Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny, by Dr. Frank Albo

 
Creating Utopia - Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny - Separate fact from fiction and find out how an underground stream of design principles and ideas permeates the layout and construction of the most futuristic city every conceived.

Creating Utopia - Astana: Architecture, Myth and Destiny - Separate fact from fiction and find out how an underground stream of design principles and ideas permeates the layout and construction of the most futuristic city every conceived.