Moscow’s Crystal Island: SimCity Anyone?


Foster and Partners released new designs recently for their “Crystal Island” project in Moscow, which would reportedly be the largest ‘building’ ever.

According to Dezeen, “Crystal Island in Moscow will be 450m high, cover an area of almost half a million square metres and contain a total floor area of 2.5 million square metres. The structure will house theatres, exhibition spaces, retail and catering businesses, 3,000 hotel rooms, 900 serviced apartments and a school for 500 students. There will also be two public viewing platforms, one at 150m and another at 300m.”

It has apparently been granted “preliminary planning permission” in Moscow, whatever that means. On the Foster site the project has an inception date of 2006.


The project is reminiscent of the X-Seed 4000 Japanese utopian city project I posted about last August.

(via daily dish)


  1. thin mint says

    A friend is visiting Moscow. She reports that you can’t even use the tap water to brush your teeth, because of the risk of giardia.

    Nice crystal tower.

  2. KevinVT says

    The latest in a long line of projects, some realized, some not:

    Palace of Soviets (1937) tallest building in the world, never built. (on the site of the Church of Christ the Savior, the tallest Orthodox Church in the world — which was first torn down for the Palace of Soviet foundation, which then became the Bassein Moskva (Moscow Pool) — largest in the world (?) and heated in winter!

    Triumph Palace (2001) tallest building in Europe until

    Naberezhnaya Tower (2007) tallest building in Europe

    They do go for size! Function is always another issue… Tap water in Moscow always _used_ to be drinkable; it was Leningrad/Petersburg that had giardia. Now, though, people drink mostly bottled water in Moscow. Or vodka, while promoting projects like this one.

  3. Jeff says

    I second the gardia comment. My partner and I were in Russia (St. Pete and Moscow) and I am here to tell you (thankfully) the water in Moscow (or St. Petersubrug either, but that goes without saying),isn’t to be trusted. I think it will be a long time before Moscow see such a structure, though you never know… PetroRubles go a long way…

  4. Jordan says

    I’ll show this to my brother. He’s as smart as I am dumb. (prolly smarter 😉 He speaks Russian & is an astrophysisist or something I can’t even understand or say (but he’s boring & geeky & straight, so I still win).

    Russian sounds so hard when he talks. I know I don’t want to visit, but as long as they have Evian there I’d be fine.

  5. Tim says

    My thinking is that the Russians couldn’t build such a building without it having construction defects (arising from corruption and corner-cutting) such that it would collapse within a year of its inauguration…

  6. dw314 says

    russians are tacky, homophobic, violently racist and sexist. suggestion, build a really big meth city and cover the whole country with it. aiyee, a girl got a little bitter there! have a nice day everyone! there…that’s better.

  7. Hephaestion says

    I used to adore Moscow intensely. There is a LOT to love about it. But the homophobia of Mayor Luzhkov and the Russian Orthodox Church are a major obstacle to making it a great city. I love this building design, and hope it happens, but even MORE I hope Moscow will throw out the old homophobic guard now in power. I don’t expect that anytime soon.

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