Palace of Virgin Landers
Congress Hall (Palace of Virgin Landers until 1999) is located in the center of the old part of the city, and completes in composition the ensemble of the old square. Construction of the building was started in October 15, 1961, and completed in 1963. The appearance of the monument is connected to the development of virgin lands in Kazakhstan. In February, the USSR Council of Ministers came to a decision to build in Tselinograd town, in the heart of virgin land, the Palace of Virgin Landers. The palace was designed by the Latvian architects P.Yu.Fogels, O.N.Krauklis, D.K.Danneberg. It was designed for 2355 seats, and it was considered in that time as the second in the USSR after Kremlin Palace of Congresses on a scale, and equipment system. For scoring of held special events, concerts, theatrical performances the Palace was equipped with modern sound-amplifying equipment. Next to the radio cabin there was the sound department, where there were cinema projectors to display panoramic, large format, widescreen and usual films. In 1978, the Palace was subjected to a major overhaul with replacement and update of equipment.
Construction of the Palace lasted 2 years and 2 months. The total cost of the Palace of Virgin Landers – 3172169 rubles. The Palace of Virgin Landers together with the adjacent territory occupied an area of 32 hectares. The total structural volume was 64 000 square meters, useful area 9500 square meters. Near the Palace there is a boiler house, and fire reservoir.
The first director was M.S. Shklyaev. In 60-80 years many outstanding teams of the country with tours visited the Palace of Virgin Landers. Among them the most famous are Abai Kazakh State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, M.Auezov Kazakh State Academic Drama Theater, Pushkin Leningrad Academic Drama Theatre, Moscow State Operetta Theatre. In the late 90s the building was subjected to a major reconstruction and modernization. The building of the Palace of Virgin Landers, now the building of the Congress Hall has a great importance in the urban development system, and is a connecting link in the central square of the city with a leisure zone. One of the main features of space-planning solutions building is a multi-functional space. The Congress Hall today is not just a modern concert hall but one of the main cultural centers of Astana. Today it meets all world standards: on its six floors there are 158 rooms and auditorium for 1600 seats, orchestra and ballet halls, restaurant, and reception hall. It has an expanded stage and make-up rooms of “luxury” class. The foyer of the palace is quite spacious and light, made as convenient as possible for large exhibitions and fairs.
The core of the demonstration complex is a scene that has a control panel, hoists that lift it to 1.80 m, and drop down to 1.20 m and increase the possibility of staging the scene.
The scene is more than a scene of the Palace of Conferences. The size of the screen is 34 x13.6 square m to show narrow, wide, and wideformat movies. The curtain was made in the workshops of the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR under the direction of the artist Umanov.