Pyramid of Peace

2004 - 2006
Astana, Kazakhstan

The stained glass apex for the Pyramid of Peace in Astana, Kazakhstan is a collaboration between Brian Clarke and architect Norman Foster. The steel and glass pyramid was officially inaugurated on Tuesday, 12th September 2006 by the 2nd Congress of World and Traditional Religions.

The pyramid is surmounted by a 9,700-square-foot artwork in stained glass which forms the top of the Foster + Partners structure, visible at night as a landmark and beacon from across Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital. This design has the pinnacle, paired with a series of diamond-shaped stained glass windows at ground level, as the only transparent elements of the grey granite-clad building.

Clarke filled these apex windows with a flock of white doves, a composition that not only reflects the aims of the building itself, but also evolves the artist’s ongoing interest in projecting light through naturally membranous materials such as petals, leaves and feathers. The window design uses screenprinted images from a series of photographs of doves Clarke took in Seville, rendered through his original technique of ceramic glaze-printed float glass, first developed for the Muhammad Ali Center, and first used on a large-scale in his collaboration with Norman Foster in 2000, at the Al-Faisaliah Center in Riyadh.