In the pipeline since 2013, the brand new Astana train station is one of the Kazakhstan capital's key infrastructure projects – combining a variety of rail links, public areas, pedestrian passages and an urban park.
The brainchild of Turkish firm Tabanlioğlu – the architects behind more major works, such as the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul – the complex sits on the traditional ceremonial route from the Presidential Palace.
Its striking monolithic roof defines the design. Made out of lightweight steel, the roof was crafted to optimise 'strength and stiffness', explain the architects, providing 'an economical yet durable configuration', responding to the region's climatic requirements.
The distinct roof structure also hints to what happens below, its linear profile aligned to the direction of the tracks. Cantilevering out from both ends of the station, this surface also creates a spectacular shelter from the elements for the station's users. By keeping this an open-air area, the architects aim to link the station to the street life and urban fabric beyond.
Heralding a new era in the region's transport and infrastructure system, its completion – currently estimated for 2017 – will be an important one for the country.
Currently on site, the station has already received its first, prestigious win, scooping one of the AR MIPIM Future Project Awards at the Cannes fair.