A new district with a total area of 174 hectares was built to hold EXPO 2017, 25 of them were allocated for use as the exhibition venue.
The EXPO 2017 Exhibition site designed by Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture, a famous US agency, is a new growth and development point of the capital of Kazakhstan. It is a microdistrict that is fully provided with its own infrastructure and includes recreation and park areas, residential buildings, a hotel, a congress center, a multifunctional shopping mall and some other infrastructure facilities.
The history of international exhibitions has shown that venues built specially for exhibitions subsequently become attractions of global significance. For example, the Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World's Fair, the Atomium in Brussels was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair, and the Oriental Crown was built for the Expo 2010 Shanghai Chinа. Now that the exhibition is over, the pavilion of Kazakhstan - Nur Alem, the largest spherical building in the world, has undoubtedly become one of the main attractions of Astana. It is a new symbol of future energy with a diameter of 80 meters, a height of 100 meters, and a total area of over 24,000 square meters.
The main types of energy – space, solar, biomass, wind, water and kinetic energy – are presented on 8 floors of the building.
Nur Alem is surrounded by thematic, commercial and corporate pavilions. The Art Center, and a culture and recreational hall - the Energy Hall. Pavillions of 115 participating countries and 22 international organizations are located on the outer radius of the Exhibition Complex ring.
During EXPO 2017 the participants of the exhibition showcased 193 Future Energy technologies.
The most interesting developments in the field of green energy – 24 projects from 13 countries selected by the International Selection Committee for EXPO 2017 – were presented in the Energy Best Practice Area (eBPa).
The Congress Center building with a total area of over 43,000 square meters is organically integrated into the architecture of the Exhibition Complex. The venue is designed in a manner ensuring a flexible planning structure. The facility is unique due to the digital design methods. A hotel complex accommodating up to 900 guests is also located there.
In addition, an open amphitheater for 6,000 visitors was built in the north-east part of the venue for large-scale recreational activities held during the exhibition.
Fountains, small architectural designs (water, wind, sun, and earth) installed in the Exhibition territory are intended to demonstrate energy efficient technologies that can improve human life in the future.
During EXPO 2017, which lasted for 93 days, about 3,500 cultural events were held at the venue and which saw nearly 4 million visitors.The completion of the large-scale Exhibition will mark the start of the post-exhibition use of the EXPO site, which will combine the functions of a business center and an educational, exhibition, cultural and recreational space.
Some of the facilities that were in operation during the Exhibition will reopen their doors as early as in November. The EXPO legacy includes the Future Energy Museum in the Nur Alem Sphere, the Art Center, the thematic pavilions and the Energy Best Practice Area (eBPa), which is planned to be used to establish an International Center for the development of green technology and investment projects under the auspices of the UN.
The culture and recreation hall, Energy Hall, and the Congress Center, which held forums and other business events, will also be reopened.
The reconstruction of the EXPO territory will continue until December 2018.
An exhibition area of 62,000 square meters will be organized in the pavilions where participating countries were initially based. One of the buildings will be converted into an Education Center.
In addition, the International Technology Park for IT Startups, a local Silicone Valley, will be established on the site of a 12,500-square-meter corporate pavilion. The organizers envisage that it will serve as a venue for attracting investments into hi-tech sectors of Kazakhstan’s economy.
Some of the exhibition areas which accommodated pavilions of EXPO international participants will be occupied by the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC). According to the plans, both the exchange and the financial academy, representative offices of Islamic and investment banks, as well as an arbitration court of an international exchange, will be located there.
In the same way that the Eiffel Tower built for the 1889 World's Fair changed the appearance of Paris once and for all, the Exhibition site built for EXPO in Astana will continue to transform one of the youngest capital cities in the world.