Saraiva + Associados
Astana, Kazakhstan
Project Year
Cultural Centres


3D Helps.

Expo 2017 - Astana, Kazakhstan

Saraiva + Associados as Architects

Under the Expo 2017 theme "The Energy of the Future", S+A concept proposes an enduring landmark in Astana that integrates renewables, efficiency, clean technologies and sustainability into livable and feasible architecture where "Energy is Life". The entire architectural design, from the master plan to the individual buildings, embraces the idea that "Life should be built on the conservation of energy" and clearly makes a statement that energy concerns on Buildings and City Planning can be put immediately into action - and the best way to do it is by providing high quality contemporary concepts that efficiently integrates proven technology into feasible designs that can effectively make the difference today. The Expo center will be located at the intersection of Nazarbayev University and Linear Park, a green axis coming from Abu Dhabi plaza. The exposition will be completed with a logical architectural approach / layout integrated in the left bank of the city of Astana. Such urban planning scenario fits a “poly-center” principle which is the most beneficial for sustainable development in big cities. The complex develops from two fundamental axes which are intersected at 90 degrees. These axes are sensibly oriented towards North/ South and West/ East directions. Close to the intersection point between the axes is located the “Symbol” of the Expo. It establishes a strong relation between this iconic building of the event and the Bayterek Tower, resulting on the augmentation and enhancement of the interconnection and relation between the city centre and the exposition precinct. The area destined for the event is delimited by a Green Ring embracing a water reservoir and together they define the essential framework for landscape design and architectural composition. Both produce a direct answer to the local climatic conditions: very warm in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. The main building is carefully oriented and stands on top of a platform, sliced from the Green Axis and rotated by 90 degrees in order to stay parallel to the city’s skyline and aligned with Linear Park and Bayterek Tower. This volume is intended to be the main exhibition area among all the pavilions. It has two storeys and a modular concept enabling that in the future it can easily be adapted to many different layouts accordingly to needs. The shape of the Building is the result of two major cutouts and a subtraction. One cut along the water ridge of the reservoir opens the waterfront square, the other creates a smaller square to receive the President and other VIP guests and dignitaries, and last but not least, the subtraction opens the ceremonial square. Offering world-class sustainable technologies, the new complex anticipates changing needs of the citizens and gives as much to the City in the future as to the people that will attend the event. The main building is designed to become a Science and Education Center and all public spaces and features will take an effective part in the life of the city, connected since the basic concept, and a model for its growth. Miguel Saraiva, S+A CEO, said: "I have a personal connection with Kazakhstan - since the opening of our office 2 years ago - which has been a source of inspiration, motivation and friendship. Being in the final 10 shortlisted bidders opens a very special opportunity for us to design a contemporary landmark that will prevail for the future as a remarkable new part of Astana and Kazakhstan. Our goal is to create an exceptional complex respectful of Astana context, world climate concerns and architecture social responsibilities for the future. Our philosophy was to propose ultimate quality and feasibility"

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Project Credits
Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa)
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Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa)

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