The last World Expo was held in Shanghai in 2010 and it featured a plethora of amazing designs and eco-themed pavilions from around the world. Unfortunately, many of the pavilions were removed after the event. The next World Expo will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2017. The expo’s goal is to create a site that will create a legacy for the city by providing new housing, offices, commercial facilities and research laboratories for the betterment of the area.
The city and expo leaders are strongly focused on renewable energy and sustainability. The President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev explained, “The theme of our exhibition is closely related to ‘green economy’, which takes into account the possibility of using alternative energy sources and the autonomous water and heat provision in each of the constructions.” Competitors were asked to make sure their design fell under the theme of ‘Future Energy’ and address key concepts like, renewable energy, electric transport, energy security, CO2 emissions reduction and energy efficiency.
An international competition was held in the spring of 2013 and over 100 firms submitted proposals. 46 were shortlisted and firms from over 20 countries, including local firms from Kazahkstan, are represented. The organizing committee will select a winning team in September and award them a winning prize of £150,000. See all the entries here.
Read on to find out more about some of our favorite competition entries!
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects
AS+GG’s master plan focuses on the most efficient use of sunlight and how it can be converted in to energy. The pavilions are a modern interpretation of a yurt and are covered in photovoltaics. The overall layout creates a visual relationship between the axis of Nazarbayev University and a series of green spaces.
Coop Himmelb(L)au’s design incorporates a thrilling, yet serene monorail to provide efficient and low-carbon transportation around the expo site. Vertical axis wind turbines are integrated into the tops of towers, which are clad in a shield-like skin of photovoltaic panels.
J Mayer H
The fun and organic master plan by J. Mayer H is inspired by cellular organisms. It consists of a series of national and thematic pavilions centered around the main expo pavilion in the center. Green roofs top the pavilions, while an artificial energy-generating cloud hovers over many of the areas to provide shade and generate power.
At the heart of the expo site, Mecanoo envisions a giant park and mountain covered with a living roof. Inside, one finds all the space and functionality needed for the project including a geodesic dome for the National Pavilion and an energy-generating tower. Mecanoo’s design also calls for a transition into permanent usefulness for when the expo concludes.
UNStudio’s design calls for a complex network of towers and green roofs. Park space dominates the expo site, which can evolve into a commercial district with the construction of office and residential towers once the project is complete. Floating wind turbines, tethered to the ground, work to generate energy for the site.
Moshe Safdie’s extraordinary design features a large glass-domed center surrounded by a sinuous line of skyscrapers that radiate out from the core. Wind and solar power will be generated in abundance during the expo, and afterwards the project will be turned into a commercial district and shopping center. The main expo sites are contained indoors under glass greenhouse structures which are filled with plants and trees.
Winners will be chosen sometime in September. Check out more videos from competing firms here.