Astana Expo 2017


Astana, Kazakhstan, 2013

UNStudio’s proposal for Astana’s EXPO2017 rethinks the concept of a ‘world wonder’ while envisioning a design that mediates between the necessities of a short term event like the expo and the future urban development of Astana until 2050.
The basis for this short term/long term development is to establish an attainable design with clear circulation and the intelligent infrastructure necessary to transform the site for further urban development. In UNStudio’s design the world wonder of today balances a strong volumetric gesture with the notion of a ‘distributed network’ similar to the internet. UNStudio envisions an urban model that is able to enrich the existing qualities of Astana, accommodate its climate through the incorporation of sustainable design features and function as a cultural, socio-economical grid.
In the design strategy the centrality of AS&P's master plan directs the introduction of a loop, whereby a three-layered circulation is woven above ground level. This loop is linked to Astana’s existing urban components; the monumental park-like axis, the university campus and the lightrail/metro network. The combination of these elements results in the creation of a linear organised programmatic mix of retail, exhibition spaces, pedestrian walkways and a protected micro-climate. The culmination of this densely programmed line, the fine woven circulation and the open air centre within is the Expo pavilion of Kazakhstan.
The Kazakh pavilion incorporates energy demand reduction, renewable energy, buildings as power plants and the implementation of energy storage technology. It is a park for the community, a vertical park where you can stroll and visit cafes, restaurants, panorama terraces and landscaped amphitheatres. The design, based on energy storage towers, provides an informative and entertaining environment. The eleven water towers and the turbine kites - both combined with high efficiency PV arrays - will generate electricity and demonstrate the integration of technique and design.
The 2050 legacy extends further from the center of the master plan, repopulating the temporary venues and expanding densely into four distinct sustainable neighbourhoods: the university & sports park, the business-campus, and the compactly organised residential and office towers.


Client: National Company Astana
Location: Astana, Kazakhstan
Building Area for Expo 2017 = 229,000 sq. m
Building Area for Expo City 2017 = 1,120,000 sq. m
Building Area for Expo City 2050 = Approx. 40,000,000 sq. m
Building site: 1.3 kilometer by 1 kilometer
Programme: Masterplan and Symbol design for the -small- world EXPO 2017 + design strategy for the EXPO’s legacy for 2050
Status: Competition entry
Visualisation: Moka Studio


UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Caroline Bos, Gerard Loozekoot with Filippo Lodi, Frans van Vuure and Harlen Miller, Nemanja Kordić, Hema Priya Kabali, Ben Kolder, Chenqi Jia, Patrik Noome, Iain Jamieson

Masterplan Infrastructure, Economics, Sustainability, Engineering: ATKINS Middle East, U.A.E
Interactive design: Experientia, Italy