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EXPO 2017: Architectural Contest

EXPO 2017: Architectural Contest

Architects and designers gathered in Astana to participate in the international architectural contest for the best draft design of the EXPO-2017 exhibition complex. The purpose of this working trip is to get acquainted with the site of this future facility and to discuss the details of the project. This should provide to the competitors favorable conditions for creating high quality and exciting works which will factor in the overall architectural ensemble of Astana and its engineering and transportation infrastructure and will also make allowance for usage of the EXPO’s facilities after its closure.

The program of the visit includes inspection of the 173.4 ha land plot allocated for the EXPO-2017 exhibition complex and inspection of the adjacent territories, working meetings with the Master Plan of Astana and the contest organisers.

There were 30 candidates selected for participation in the contest which was announced on the 18th of February this year. This number includes 26 foreign companies from 15 countries: Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Austria, China, the USA, the Netherlands, Korea, Russia, Portugal, Norway, Turkey, Japan, and France. In particular, invitations were granted to some foreign architects who already have successful experience of design work in Astana: Norman Foster (Palace of Peace and Reconciliation, Khan Shatyr Entertainment Center), Manfredi Nicoletti (the Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall), “Studio-44”, Saint Petersburg (Palace of Schoolchildren), architects of the Sembol company (Turkey) and others. Zaha Hadid, Stefano Boeri and other companies with successful experience of designing the EXPO exhibition centers will also take part in the contest. Kazakhstan is represented by 4 participants: the KAZGOR Design Academy, the Urban Planners Union of Kazakhstan, the Union of Designers of Kazakhstan, and Architect Saken Narynov’s Workshop from the Union of Architects of Kazakhstan.

The terms of the contest allow participation of independent companies which have appropriate qualifications and experience of design activities. There were 75 independent participants registered, of which 51 are foreign participants, 22 companies are from Kazakhstan and 2 are joint ventures. There will be an award of 100 thousand US dollars “For the Best Independent Design”.

A total of 105 contenders are taking part in the contest. The winner will be determined according to the results of receipt of contest works. The prize fund amounts to 150 thousand US dollars.


A congregation of the capital’s Architectural Council under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan created in November 2008 will be organised to act as the jury of the contest.

The contest will end on 18 July 2013. An exhibition of the contest works will be organised for the general public of the city from 12th to 19th of August. The Contest results will be announced by 1 September 2013.