The Esentai Gatehouse embodies the opposing goals of a security checkpoint and welcome mat to a new mixed use complex designed by SOM.
We opted for a symbol of peace and wellbeing, to contrast with the typical authoritarian KZ guard station. A winged white structure, a dove in flight, protects the guards. all-glass cube shaped shelter sits within a reflecting pool, like a melting ice cube surrounded by Almaty’s snow covered peaks. While this transparent structure welcomes, an underground security facility is humming away, providing surveillance of the property and its visitors. At night, the small glowing building and its many reflections, provide an iconic identity for Esentai’s entry point.