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Astana EXPO - 2017 Future Energy

  • Astana, Kazakhstan
  • 2013 – 2017
  • Joint Stock Company: National Astana - EXPO 2017
  • Competition / Research
  • EXPO site: 25 Ha
  • Gross Built Area: 172,000m2
  • Levels: 4 above ground
  • Symbol: 220m
  • EXPO City site: 173.4 Ha
  • Gross Built Area: 823,000m2
  • Levels: Up to 25 above ground

Zaha Hadid Architects participated in an International Competition sponsored by the Joint Stock National Company in Astana, Kazakhstan to design the facilities for the international exhibition Astana EXPO-2017, ‘symbol’ of Astana EXPO-2017 and master plan for the wider area. The theme of the EXPO: ‘Future Energy’ aims to raise awareness of energy resources, energy efficiency and environmental protection and to seek innovative engineering and architectural solutions to these critical global issues.

Our proposal for EXPO-2017 Astana places energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and sustainability at the forefront of the design. The master plan emerged from our investigation of the cultural and physical landscape of Kazakhstan, traditional Kazakh patterns, ornament, craftsmanship, the unique physical landforms, geology and beauty of the Kazakhstan landscape with the overarching issue of addressing the ‘future energy’ agenda. The resultant is an informal fluid interface of urban pattern, landform and architecture inspired by Kazakh culture imbedded in resource efficient design and renewable technologies.

The urban morphology presents a contemporary interpretation of urban spatial planning. The urban grid evolved from a logical sequence, emanating from the axial relationship of the site to the city to the North and Nazarbayev University to the West through a number of generative steps. Influenced by ‘attractive’ elements within the Expo site and strategic components external to the site, the urban morphology evolved forming a multiplicity of geometries and orientations that connect to adjacent areas. Building mass across the Expo City site is structured to create a fluid contour across the site addressing the neighbouring urban condition, building height and importance of adjoining streets.

As the urban morphology gravitates to the EXPO site, the block structure is further deformed, buildings become more dynamic demonstrating greater geometric movement and tension. The EXPO facilities including the International Pavilions, Convention Centre, Host Offices, Kazakh Pavilion, 4 no. Themed Pavilions, Commercial and service support spaces, exterior performance spaces and supporting areas form a contained environment for the operation and security of EXPO 2017.

The Symbol of EXPO-2017 signifies the theme of Future Energy, the achievements in architecture, engineering and technology, a potent emblem of the future, progressive and timeless.

The symbol of Astana EXPO-2017 represents the bold vision to lead the world in the quest for a new energy future embodying the spirit and ambition of Expo 2017 and Kazakhstan drawing on the momentum and strength of how our shared knowledge and collaboration can overcome what has been recognised as the greatest threat to civilisation.

The symbol will outlive EXPO 2017 providing a world renowned monument immediately recognisable to the city of Astana, Kazakhstan.





Zaha Hadid with Patrik Schumacher

Design Team

Lauren Barclay, Aurora Santana, Henning Hansen, Ben Kikkawa, Paola Salcedo, Armando Bussey, Sushant Verma, Saman Dadgostar, Chien Shuo Pai, Kate Revyakina, Moa Carlsson, Daniel Toumine

Services Engineer


Transport Engineering


Energy/Sustainability Engineering




EXPO Consultant

Gordon Linden