When I was a kid, the snow at my grandparents’ would pile up so high that the roofs of the carports would slope down into the drifts. We couldn’t really scramble very far up them, but we always thought they’d make perfect mini ski hills. That’s sort of the idea behind a proposed housing complex in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, only on a much larger scale.
The 21-story House Slalom would have stores on the first floor, 421 apartments, and an outdoor ski slope running from the roof to the ground. Unlike the man-made indoor slope in Dubai, the 1,000-foot run will be right at home with Kazakhstan’s brutal winters. Atana is among the coldest capitol cities in the world (second only to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia). Temperatures can reach minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, according to CNN. Imagine that brisk chill whipping against your face as you zip down your very own ski slope!
There aren’t nearby resorts for winter sports, so architect Shokhan Mataibekov thinks the building might offer a solution for snowboarding and ski enthusiasts, according to The Telegraph. And lest you think the run would only be good a few months out of the year, it will also operate in the summer. Snowflex, a synthetic material made to mimic snow, will let skis and boards glide down the slope even in the 95-degrees-Fahrenheit summer days.
Mataibekov didn’t say whether the public could use the slope, of if it will be available to residents only. Skiers won’t have to traipse through the building to get back up the hill, though. Lifts will operate via a separate entrance.
City officials still need to approve the building plans before construction can start, but if you find yourself in Astana before the project’s completion, you can still check out the world’s biggest tent.
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