Future Energy: the best of the national pavilions at Expo 2017
Image: © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects
Always an opportunity to convey creative architectural concepts, the World Exposition has come round again, this time to Kazakhstan’s capital Astana.
The theme for Expo 2017 is Future Energy, providing a platform for environmentally sound design to showcase new innovations and ideas.
The Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects designed 173-hectare ‘Expo City’ is powered by solar panels and wind turbines in and around the site. The festival site forms part of Astana’s overall development plan to become a fully green city by 2030. After the Expo closes on 10 September 2017, it will be used as the city’s new financial hub.
Centered around a giant ‘expo ball’, the buildings splay outwards to encompass the pavilions. Here’s the best of what they have to offer.
Theme: Energy for the Planet
Spain’s pavilion invites visitors to discover how it is contributing to providing the world with clean energy. Centered around a plaza, three houses host audio-visual shows. In the centre of the plaza, a sculptural digital tree comes to life following its own natural life cycle, reminding us of the need to keep a balance between civilization and nature.
Theme: The Origins of Energy
Designed by architect Asif Khan, the UK pavilion aims to enthral visitors with a multi-sensory experience involving film, technology, sound, and animation.
A computer generated 360° timeline tells the story of the origins of energy going back 13.8 billion years ago through to the future of energy use, focusing in particular on the material graphene. The circular screen surrounds a striking illuminated Kazakh yurt shaped structure.
Theme: Creative Energy
As host, Kazakhstan’s pavilion is the star of the show. Situated on the ground floor of the glass dome in the very centre of the complex, it offers 4 different presentations on Kazakhstan’s developments and relationship with green energy through interactive displays.
Theme: Energy on Track
The German pavilion demonstrates the country’s performance and expertise in energy supply, looking into what the city of the future and the world will be like. The pavilion’s journey culminates in an interactive Energy Show where visitors can play their part in creating energy.
Theme: From Traditions to Innovations
Designed by Paolo Desideri, the Italian pavilion is dedicated to the Italian scientists who made their mark on history. Each of the four oval areas shows video material exploring the history of energy development in Italy.
Theme: Creative People, Smart Energy
Poland’s achievements and technological solutions in clean coal technology and afforestation take centre stage in its pavilion. Visitors are able to venture beneath the earth’s surface to explore clean coal technology before surfacing to learn about Poland’s successful afforestation programme.
Theme: Small City, Big Ideas
Singapore’s pavilion highlights its reputation as a garden city and its efforts to create an ecosystem to support the development of effective solutions for a sustainable future. Styled on the concept of a terrarium, it features 250 mini-terrariums containing handwritten notes and clay models depicting what young Singaporeans think best represents their country.
Theme: Pure Energy
Designed to spark people’s curiosity, the Finnish pavilion features huge freestanding structures resembling buildings or giant boulders. Each dedicated to a different theme surrounding energy development, the structures are made of wood – a material Finland has an abundance of.
Theme: The Russian Arctic
Considered one of the most promising regions for developing alternative energy in Russia, the Russian pavilion centres around the Arctic Region. It features a polar semi-sphere where visitors can learn more about the region and even see a block of ice brought all the way from the Russian Arctic.
Images: Expo 2017 Astana
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