BUILDING THAT POWER THEMSELVES
Share This Article
Astana Expo City was a city of the future in 2017, first published in Buildace Magazine print version in 2016.
Images by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill architecture
On November 22, 2012, Astana in oil-rich Kazakhstan was chosen by the International Exhibitions Bureau (BIE) as the venue to host Expo 2017. It was the first time that a major international exhibition of this kind was held in a country from the former Soviet Union. Over 100 countries and 10 international organizations participated in the event and estimation of about 2-3 million people visited the international pavilions from June to September 2017. Over 100 companies, including Mabetex Group, Zaha Hadid Architects, UNStudio, Snøhetta, HOK, and Coop Himmelb(l)au, participated in a competition to design the grounds of Expo 2017.Chicago firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) won the competition. And contracts were awarded to several construction companies in the Almaty region to build the grounds, with a cumulative value of 5 billion tenge. The main contractor Sembol Inshaat has contracts with some other developments companies.
Split into two phases, the 174 hectare project featured exhibition and cultural pavilions (118,620 sm); a residential development (686,000 sm); service areas including shopping, socio-cultural, educational and civic facilities; parks (72,000 sm); and parking.
Expo 2017 was an International Exposition scheduled that took place between June 10 and September 10, 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The theme for the Expo was “Future Energy.” The theme was aimed at finding ways to achieve qualitative changes in the energy sector, primarily for the development of alternative sources of energy and new ways of transportation. Finding sustainable energy supplies was a critical and growing global concern as at then. The solution to these concerns ensures economic growth and improved social standards while reducing the burden on the environment.
Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill’s (AS+GG) design for EXPO-2017 embraces the Future Energy concept by becoming the first post Industrial Revolution city, where energy consumed by the Expo community were provided from renewable sources. Buildings became generators of power and their energy was stored using innovative technologies while being distributed by a smart grid. The Expo community was planned to provide infrastructure to encourage and support the use of vehicles that use renewable fuels.
Phase 1 or the “Expo Mode,” design unveiled the construction of the exposition buildings including the central Kazakhstan Pavilion; Theme, Corporate and International Pavilions; as well as hotel, retail, art and performance spaces. The design of the first phase also unveiled the construction of a series of buildings that acts as a “covered city,” which includes retail, residential and office spaces. Phase 1 was completed in June 2017 for the purpose of serving the Expo and its visitors.
Each of the Expo buildings was designed to take advantage of their site location. For example, everything in the residential development, from the street grid rotation, the block size and the distribution of building mass was developed through a series of studies to reduce energy use, improve comfort levels (indoors and outdoors) and increase energy harvesting for each unit.
The urban design for the Expo City was determined by site specific indicators such as weather condition, cultural context and land accessibility. AS+GG executed a series of studies with the goal of minimizing the site’s energy-use, while maximizing its energy harvesting potential and comfort levels. The resulting analysis offers the most efficient orientation in order to optimize solar radiation to reduce energy usage for heating. Not only does this strategy improve user comfort but it also maximizes the potential energy that can be generated from building mounted photovoltaic.
Phase 2 or the “Legacy Mode,” finalized the first Third Industrial Revolution community. The Expo buildings was converted into an office and research park, attracting international companies and entrepreneurs. Expo parking and service zones was transformed into thriving and first class integrated neighborhoods including an additional 700 residential units, as well as office, hotels, local markets, and civic and educational facilities.
Upon completion, the legacy development became one of the most sustainably built in the world. The design calls for 100% of the Post-Expo non-potable water demand to be provided by the on-site water reclamation facility and 24% of the Post-Expo electrical demand to be met from on-site BIPV energy systems. As designed, the total Post-Expo grid energy demand was 49% less than an ASHRAE 90.1 2010 Baseline, while the office buildings will use 22%-40% less energy than ASHRAE 90.1:2010 Baseline. Overall grid energy reduction is 59%.
Other key areas that was add to the efficient legacy transformation includes developing Expo parking areas into residential neighborhoods; integrating exhibition buildings into a first-class office complex; orienting the site for dedicated pedestrian and bike lanes; and creating dozens of public transportation links to the rest of Astana.
‘’It’s not an experiment, its real,’’ Arc. Gordon Gill, according to Time Magazine.