In the centre of the new capital of sovereign Kazakhstan, an architectural ensemble has been built that is unique in its artistic significance and size. Its most important component is Akorda of Astana, the residence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The residence is the compositional centre of the urban ensemble. The main axis of the Astana architectural complex has the following vertices: “Khan Shatyr” – “Baiterek” – “Akorda” – “Palace of Peace and Harmony” – “Kazak Eli”. The compositional axis of the architectural ensemble embodies the ideas of preserving the continuity of the Great Steppe traditions, promoting the Eurasian culture of tolerance and creating a strong Kazakhstan as part of the modern world civilisation.
“Akorda” is one of the visible signs of the new development philosophy of Astana city and the country. The symbolic and functional purpose of the building is reflected in the design of the facades and the interiors – in their stylistic and colour design. Traditional European architecture is filled with new meanings. Kazakh and oriental motifs in the architectural decoration of the palace are expressed in the theme of circles and ornamental decorations. A special feature of the project is a unique collection of Kazakh art, which gives the residence an artistic integrity. Metaphorically, it reflects the steppe civilisation in the mirror of European culture, a synthesis of the arts of the largest continent on earth, Eurasia. The works of Kazakh artists exhibited in the residence represent the necessary balance between the West and the East that Kazakhstan prides itself on, positioning itself in the world as a state that unites the cultures of great civilisations.
Construction began in 2001 and well-known European and Kazakh architects worked on the project, including the renowned European designers M. Gualatsi and A. Molteni. Academician K. Montachayev was called in to design the interiors in the national style. Experts and workers from 26 countries were involved in the construction of the most important state institution.
The official presentation of the new residence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan took place on 24 December 2004. The total area of the building is 36 720 square metres, its height with tower 86 metres. The building with five above-ground and two underground floors is made of monolithic concrete and was constructed using the most modern construction methods and advanced technical equipment. At the same time, the height of the ground floor is 12 metres.
Special attention is paid to the design of the ensemble’s outdoor facilities. The square in front of the Akorda emphasises the solemn character of the main façade. The solemn atmosphere is further enhanced by the fountain and the flower avenues. The composition includes driveways and asphalt paths, small architectural forms and parking areas. The area is framed by a decorative fence with lighting.
The name of the Head of State’s residence has a deep semantic meaning. Literally, “Akorda” means “white pole”. The colour scheme of the facades and interiors of the residence is dominated by white and light shades. “White” in the semantics of Turkish culture means primarily sacred (sacral). This term stands for joy and prosperity, sincerity and nobility, honour and goodness. The rich symbolism of the colour white is reflected in the architectural appearance of Akorda. This is especially reflected in the colour scheme of the main interior spaces. White as the basic and guiding colour comes in a variety of shades, from pure white to ivory. Gold, blue and green complete the colour palette.
All the common rooms have exclusive interiors, chandeliers and furniture. The floors are finished with various types of marble and granite, as well as artificial parquet.
On the ground floor is a central banqueting hall with an area of 1,800 square metres. It is intended for official receptions in the presence of the Guard of Honour. In the centre of the hall is a large dome with a crystal chandelier.
In addition, on the ground floor there is a banquet hall for official receptions of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, a hall for press conferences and meetings of the Head of State with media representatives, and the winter garden.
Offices are located on the first floor.
On the third floor are:
– The Oriental Hall, stylised in the shape of a yurt and furnished with marble and granite.
– Marble Hall for signing documents during official visits and summits attended by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign heads of state and government. Ceremonies are also held here for the presentation of credentials by ambassadors of foreign states accredited to the Republic of Kazakhstan, and for the conferring of state awards and honorary titles of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
– The Golden Hall, used for talks and meetings of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with foreign heads of state and government in a close circle, for meetings and talks of the Head of State with foreign delegations and ambassadors of foreign states accredited to the Republic of Kazakhstan.
– The Oval Hall, used for high-level negotiations between delegations of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign states, meetings and talks of the Head of State with foreign delegations and representatives of foreign business circles.
– The Guest Hall, used for talks between the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and ambassadors of foreign states after the presentation of credentials.
– The Extended Negotiation Hall is used for high-level negotiations between the delegations of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign states.
– The Security Council Chamber is used for meetings of the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
On the fourth floor are:
– Dome Hall, where meetings of heads of state at the highest level, meetings of the President of Kazakhstan with representatives of ministries and agencies, parties, movements and creative intellectuals of the country, as well as meetings of consultative and advisory bodies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan are held.
– The conference hall is intended for holding meetings of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the Government, heads of departments of the Presidential Administration, heads of regions and cities of Astana and Almaty, heads of ministries and agencies, as well as meetings of the Head of State with representatives of business circles of the country.
– Negotiation hall used for meetings and talks of the Head of Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Adjutant of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with foreign delegations, ambassadors of foreign states accredited to the Republic of Kazakhstan and representatives of foreign business circles.
– Library with a unique collection of books.
The basement floors house various technical services, garage rooms, kitchen and canteen.
In general, the architecture and interior design of Akorda reflect the modern state style of Astana and Kazakhstan. The style whose foundations were laid in the first years of independence and which today can rightly be considered established in its main areas – state symbols, insignia of power, cut of official uniforms, national currency. Today, the Akorda residence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Astana is one of the most important and well-known symbols of our country.