Sovereign Kazakhstan’s new capital has a unique architectural ensemble in terms of artistic meaning and scale. An important element of the city’s central area is Akorda – the residence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The residence is a compositional and conceptual centre of the city’s architecture. The key points of Astana’s design axis are: “Khan Shatyr” – “Bayterek” – “Akorda” – “The Palace of Peace and Accord” – “Kazak Eli”. This composition visually embodies the ideas of preserving the continuity of the Great steppes’ traditions, promotion of Eurasian culture of tolerance and creation of strong Kazakhstan that aspires to achieve heights of the modern world civilization.
Akorda is one of the visible images of the country’s new philosophy of development. The symbolical and functional designation of the residence was fully reflected in the design of front facades and interiors, in their stylistic and a colour scheme. The building’s design that is traditional for the European architecture has been given new features. By its concept and realization Akorda embodies the image of Kazakhstan’s independence. Kazakh and eastern motifs in the palace’s architectural decoration are expressed by a theme of circles and ornamental decor. The project’s distinctive feature and its exclusive is a unique collection of Kazakh fine arts works that contributes to the residence’s stylistic wholeness. Metaphorically it reflects a steppe civilization in the mirror of the European culture, a synthesis of arts of the planet’s largest continent - Eurasia. The aesthetic system of the building’s external shape and interiors harmoniously goes back to best samples of the traditional European architecture. The works of the Kazakhstani artists exhibited at the residence make up the very balance of the western and eastern cultures Kazakhstan is proud of while positioning itself as a state that unites cultures of great civilizations.
The residence’s construction began in 2001. The authors aimed to create an unrepeatable, unique complex which would symbolize power and dynamism of the swiftly developing country. Well-known architects of Europe and Kazakhstan were involved in the project. Among them were renowned European designers M.Gualazzi and A.Molteni. The interiors in national style were produced according to the academician K.Montakhayev’s expert opinion. Experts and workers of 26 nationalities and from ten countries of the world worked on construction of the major state building.
The official presentation of the new Palace of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan took place on December 24, 2004. The total area of the building makes up 36 720 square meters.
The building is made from solid concrete with the use of the most up to date construction methods and advanced engineering equipment. The building’s height together with the spike makes up 86 m. The building consists of five ground floors and two underground floors. The first floor’s height makes up 12 m.
A special attention is paid to an external landscaping - the integral part of the ensemble. The area in front of Akorda accentuates stateliness of the main facade. The solemn atmosphere is created by the fountain and flower paths.
The approach and asphalt paths, landscape architectural elements, parking zones fit well into the composition. The territory is enclosed by a decorative fencing with illumination.
The name of the Head of state’s residence has a deep symbolic significance. When translated directly "Akorda" means «the White headquarters». The white colour and light tones prevail in the colour scheme of facades and residence interiors. In the semantics of the Turkic culture "white" primarily means sacred (sacral). This notion embodies joy and well-being, sincerity and nobleness, honour and good. The white colour’s rich symbolism was reflected in Akorda’s architectural design. This primarily relates to the colour scheme of its basic interiors. The white colour as the basic and leading one is present in a multitude of shades - from white to ivory. Gold, dark blue and green colours impose additional coloristic significance.
All halls of the residence have an exclusive internal decoration, chandeliers and furniture. The floors are trimmed with various sorts of marble, granite and art parquet.
The 1 800 square meters Central ceremonial hall is situated on the ground floor. It is designated for official receptions in front of the guard of honor. There is a large dome with crystal chandeliers in the centre of the hall.
Besides that, premises on the ground floor include: the Ceremonial room for state receptions on behalf of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Hall for press-conferences and meetings of the Head of state with mass-media and the Winter garden.
Office premises are located on the second floor.
The third floor premises include:
- The East hall stylized in the shape of a yurta and trimmed with marble and granite.
- The Marble hall is designated for signing documents during official visits and summits with the participation of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and heads of foreign states and governments. Ceremonies of presenting credentials of ambassadors of foreign states, accredited to the Republic of Kazakhstan, awarding state decorations and honorary ranks of the Republic of Kazakhstan take place in this hall.
- The Golden hall is designated for negotiations and tête-à-tête meetings of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with heads of foreign states and governments, meetings and talks of the Head of state with foreign delegations, ambassadors of foreign states, accredited to the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- The Oval hall is used for high-level talks between delegations of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign states, meetings and talks of the Head of state with foreign delegations, representatives of foreign business circles.
- The Guest room is designated for talks of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with ambassadors of foreign states after the ceremony of presenting credentials.
- The Hall of extended negotiations is used for high-level talks of delegations of the Republic of Kazakhstan and foreign states.
- The Security Council Hall is designated for sessions of the Security Council of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The fourth floor premises consist of:
- The Dome hall is used for high-level meetings of heads of states, conferences of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with representatives of ministries and departments, parties, movements and intelligentsia of the country, and for consultative-advisory bodies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
- The Conference hall is designated for meetings of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan with the Government, heads of the structural subdivisions of the Executive Office of the President, heads of regional and Astana and Almaty city governments, ministries and departments, and also meetings of the Head of State with representatives of business circles of the country.
- The Meeting room is used for meetings and talks of the Head of the President’s Executive Office, President’s Assistant with foreign delegations, ambassadors of foreign states accredited to the Republic Kazakhstan and representatives of foreign business circles.
- The Library with a unique collection of books.
Premises of the basement floors include various technical services, garage premises, a kitchen and a dining hall.
As a whole, the architecture and design of Akorda’s interiors reflect Kazakhstan’s modern state style. The style the basis foundation of which was laid in the first years of independence, is used in all areas - state symbolics, signs of power, official uniform and national currency. The "Akorda" residence of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan gained the status of one of the most significant and recognizable symbols of our country.