Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

City Beautiful of Kazakhstan

Last week’s Journeys issue of the New Yorker was one of the magazine’s best in months. And I think the digital powers that be know it, since much of the good stuff is behind little blue locks on the website. (One piece that isn’t is Evan Osnos’s Chinese bus trip through Europe: priceless.) The most architectural journey was Keith Gessen’s to Astana, a.k.a. “Nowheresville,” the new capital of Kazakhstan, where Foster + Partners has designed the Palace of Peace (above) as well as the Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center (below), which may be the world’s first mall-slash-beach-slash-midway. Gessen’s description seems equal parts Vegas, John Portman, and insanity.