December 31, 2007 U.K. architectural firm Foster + Partners has announced that preliminary planning permission has been granted for the world’s largest single building - the Crystal Island project in Moscow.

Described as a self-contained city within a city and spanning a massive floor area of 2.5million square meters, the planned 450m high structure will be one of the world's tallest and will encompass a variety of mixed-use buildings including 3000 hotel rooms, 900 serviced apartments, an international school, offices, shops, museums, theatres and cinemas.

The building is to be situated on the Nagatino Peninsula next the Moscow River 7.5 km from the Kremlin and will take in panoramic views over Moscow from a viewing platform at its apex.

The spectacular design will be based around a triangulated steel mega frame with a terraced series of winter gardens providing a thermal buffer for the main building that offers protection against Moscow’s climate extremes. A vertical louvre system will give residents privacy and dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing add to the ability to control the entry of light and manipulate interior temperature according to the season.

The entire structure will rise over a new landscaped park that extends the distinctive geometry of the building itself and allowing for activities such as cross country skiing and ice skating in the winter to be offered to residents and visitors.