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Sustainable Crystal Island

Plans are underway in Moscow to create a gigantic “city in a building” that will feature all sorts of smaller buildings in its interior. There’ll be 3000 hotel rooms, 900 serviced apartments, offices and shops, and an international school for 500 pupils. Named Crystal Island, it will be the world’s biggest building with eco-friendly management and energy conservation techniques. The architectural firm behind the design is Foster and Partners.

Planned to have around 2,500,000sqm of floor space, the tent-like superstructure would rise to 450m, and form a breathable “second skin” and thermal buffer for the main building, shielding the interior spaces from Moscow’s weather. This second skin will be sealed in winter to minimize heat loss and opened in the summer to naturally cool the interior.

The building would be integrated into a park, which would provide a range of activities throughout the year from cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter. The building would be powered by built-in solar panels and wind turbines and the site would also feature on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation.

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