In 2017 Kazakhstan will host a World Expo, following in the footsteps of cities such as Shanghai (2010), Brisbane (1988), Osaka (1970) and Seville (1929). The country’s capital (since 1997) Astana will be the location for the event and in February 2013 a competition was launched to find an architecture studio who could design a suitably eye-catching venue for this international celebration. The competition was published by WAN’s Business Information Service and can be viewed here.
The organising committee received over 100 applications from 20 countries and has now selected its shortlist of 46. Major international firms sit level with local practices from Kazakhstan, awaiting a final result this September. The winner will receive a prize of £150,000 however the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev has suggested that a ‘symbiosis project’ is not out of the question. He continued: “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.”
Legacy plays a key role in the design of the future World Expo site with a recent statement from the organising committee referring to the importance of buildings such as houses, offices, commercial facilities and research laboratories for the longevity and continual success of the site. The design must also fall under the theme of the 2017 World Expo which is ‘Future Energy’. From June to September 2017, Astana plans to appeal to the international community to generate debate and awareness of energy management across the globe.
Concepts from the 46 shortlisted firms are now available on the official 2017 World Expo website following an exhibition in Astana earlier this month. Practices making the next stage of the competition include: Zaha Hadid Architects; UNStudio; Safdie Architects; Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill; GMP International Gmbh; Coop Himmelb(l)au; Kokkugia; J. Mayer H. Architects; Gansam Architects & Partners; Snohetta; Mecanoo; and Serie Architects.