Dezeen Magazine

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to design Astana Expo 2017

News: Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has seen off competition from Zaha Hadid, UNStudio, Snøhetta and more to land the design commission for the World Expo 2017 exhibition in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Smith and Gill, who are currently also working on construction of the world's tallest skyscraper, will masterplan a 173-hectare site in Kazakhstan's capital. It will include a 25-hectare exhibition centre to host the world fair, alongside housing, schools, healthcare facilities, shopping centres and parks.

A spherical Kazakhstan Pavilion will form the centre of the exhibition, surrounded by International, Theme and Corporate Pavilions. Once the exhibition is over, everything inside the new buildings could be either dismantled or adapted to accommodate new functions, meaning no demolition would be required.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture to design Astana Expo 2017

Jeremy Rifkin, chairman of the technical committee of the competition, said the winning scheme is "the most practical in terms of both sustainable development and architectural and artistic design".

Bearing the title Future Energy, the Astana Expo 2017 will be centred around the promotion of sustainable energy sources and technologies, so all the energy consumed by visitors to the exhibition will be generated from renewable sources including solar panels and wind turbines.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture was one of 45 practices shortlisted to masterplan the site, including Coop Himmelblau, Mecanoo, Safdie Architects and Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas.

Following on from Milan's Expo taking place next year, the 2017 exhibition be hosted for three months during the summer of 2017 and will feature pavilions from over 100 participating countries. The most recent Expos held were the Yeosu Expo 2012 in South Korea and the Shanghai Expo 2010, which featured Thomas Heatherwick's Seed Cathedral.