Sunday, January 6, 2008

Crystal Island

Last month, while musing on the significance of Time Magazine selecting Vladimir Putin as Person of the Year, I pointed out how Russia is physically transforming itself into a 21st Century nation with a massive building push. Today Andrew Sullivan passes along plans to construct the world's largest building, to be dubbed the Crystal Island, in Moscow:

The world's "largest" building varies according to definition, but many people consider The Pentagon to be the world's largest office building.

As if that's not enough to emphasize the scope of Russian building ambitions, here's another staggering plan: St. Petersburg plans on adding an additional 40 metro stations to its current subway system by 2020. Anyone who visits a major American city that is adding just one station knows how long this takes and what an enormous inconvenience it is -- to say nothing of the cost (just some of the reasons it rarely happens).

Unfortunately, there's not much word on how the stations will look. That may seem like a small detail except for the fact that the subways in St. Petersburg are some of the most architecturally amazing commuter facilities in the world.

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