ASTANA – Construction of the architectural complex for EXPO 2017 in Astana will begin this May, Deputy Chairman of the Astana EXPO 2017 Company Bekzhan Kulbayev announced on March 4 at a Central Communications Service briefing.
A week earlier, President Nursultan Nazarbayev approved the concept of the architectural complex for EXPO 2017. The general layout and major design and planning solutions were then presented to the government and municipal administration. In two or three months, the ambitious project will be launched.
“A feasibility study of the future architectural complex is ready and currently geotechnical work is underway on the allocated land plot. Construction will probably begin in May,” Kulbayev said.
According to Kulbayev, builders will first erect the main building of the Kazakhstan pavilion, a sphere with an 80-metre diameter.
As Kulbayev noted, specialists from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the winner of the EXPO 2017 design competition, took into account a number of conditions important for Kazakhstan in creating their design. EXPO structures were to have innovative designs, blend into the capital’s architectural image, respond to the exhibition’s topic and, therefore, be energy efficient and economically viable. Minister of Environment and Water Resources and Chairman of the Board of the Astana EXPO 2017 Company Nurlan Kapparov reported on construction work in detail at the briefing.
“The first-ever energy-positive city will appear in Kazakhstan. On sunny or windy days, EXPO City will produce energy, accumulate its surplus and give it to Astana,” said Kapparov. He also revealed a new component of the city’s smart grid: smart dust. “This is a vacuum system that sucks debris from each building and then sends it to a central processing plant. The unique enterprise will also conduct water treatment,” the minister said.
According to Kulbayev, in addition to the exhibition’s facilities, about 1 million square metres of housing will be built in EXPO City.
“All homes, as well as the hotels, fitness centres, shops and schools in this city will be built on the principle of sustainable development and with the application of green technologies,” he said.
Answering questions about the use of these facilities after EXPO 2017, the minister said the housing will be sold and international pavilions will be used as offices or as a scientific and technological cluster, which could bring additional profit to the capital. In addition, the proximity of EXPO City to Nazarbayev University will allow them to merge and complement each other.
As for the pace of construction, Kulbayev stressed that about 10,000 builders will be involved in the work every year. At peak times, that number could grow to 20,000. At least 70 percent of the staff will be residents of Kazakhstan.
Kapparov also noted that serious foreign companies with relevant experience will be attracted to the construction of architecturally complex objects, particularly the Kazakhstan pavilion’s sphere.