At the southern tip of Astana, Kazakhstan, Expo Center is a mixed-use urban project, planned for a 'comprehensive community' consisting of exhibition and convention center designed for international fairs and gatherings, an international business and accommodation facility, housing, and social infrastructure, spread on a 200.000 sqm land. 100.000 sqm of the territory is reserved for the residential area.

The project, intended to make a connection with the nearby presidential and governmental zone, will be a contribution to the new urban identity of the Capital; the Center will host numerous international fairs, several important meetings,

Symbolizing the innovative communications structure of the 2000s the Complex consists of a convention and exhibition center, a business center for office use, a hotel, shopping and recreation zone with spacious transparent entrances, accompanied by the residential buildings. This building complex with its social facilities will add life to the city.

Community involvement is the key of the mixed-use capacity; Astana, located on a vast land, is famous for its cold and windy long winters and hot and dusty summers, so sheltered but still transparent structure with inviting courtyards is compelling for the inhabitants, as one of the “living rooms” of the city. Design and use of the superstructure is determined according to the contemporary needs and climate conditions. The nature of the ground level produces a welcome permeability.

Its transparency is welcoming; the inner space integrates with the outer space naturally by the neutral separation of glass. Exposing the passer-by to the images of the people in movement and the inside atmosphere, the glass-clad atrium adjoins the vista owing to transparency; at the same time the outer space reflects on the interior, so outdoor life within an indoor urban-structure is provided.

Implementing major urban improvements and strategies on how mixed-use projects are created by incorporating homes with retail and office properties; as a commitment to the public realm, the architecture combines business and daily city life and extends the facility’s life to 24 hours a day and 365 days a year; the covered but still visible space evokes the sense of security; secure form all external difficulties such as cold weather, wind and dust, the visitors may still benefit the daylight and feeling of open space.

Comprising independent but still interactive blocks, separately designed for various functions, the multi layered, dynamic style helped make the scale appropriate rather than overwhelming.

A large site by the road is spared as a plaza; modeled as a typical city square, it is equipped with a flexible infrastructure for open-air events like concerts. The plaza is nested with the gently sloped overhanging roof, with its wide cantilever, lying low before the atrium. The entrance with the floating roof is a strong architectural act in this building,

Inner patio, with meeting spaces and other recreational facilities, opens to the office buildings, shopping areas, expo center and cinemas.

The Expo center will be a showcase for a range of exemplary initiatives, the industrial context and emerging values. As well as serving to international community a wide range of services, which complement the Center’s quality infrastructure and high-tech equipment and hospitality, the modern architectural style is an asset. 

At the west end, a framework of sheathed glass reshapes the exterior of the already existing elliptical construction, which is programmed as the business center.

The parcel is bounded on three sides by broad lanes; the southern street is parallel to the axial ceremonial route from the Presidential Palace. The road on the west, which reaches up to the airport, defines the other border.

The land upon which it stands is parallel to the main axis and open to the development of other construction projects. The neighborhood is the site of governmental, commercial and official buildings. The complex is aimed to be another new permanent venue of the city; besides the Islamic Center and the Mosque and its plaza, there are other key buildings in the neighborhood.

Broad lanes around the territory enable accessibility from three different directions. The underground car park, for 700 vehicles, will be accessible from the northern border; alternative exits at different levels and buildings will facilitate access to and between the buildings.

The expo center leans its back against the Southern Street. The service exits and all other maintenance units are placed on the south for practical purposes aiming easy and isolated access to the buildings from the road, whereas the main entrances to the public areas like shopping areas, restaurants and then to the expo center will be from the North, through the plaza. 

Along with the convention building, the two-wind high-rise hotel and the office building are situated on the front line, opening to the West Street, both buildings are mainly accessible from the West, still both buildings are also reachable via the other entrances.

Unconventional orientation of the apartment buildings, unlike to previously constructed box-formed linear blocks, which are bordering the site, recommend a new lifestyle; designed homes carry a cache of western architecture. The residences have terraces at various angles and levels, the fa├žade is glass sheathed over the balconies, which creates a protective air corridor, while adding an aesthetic value.
4 residential blocks rise over a continuous base block, which houses common social areas and studio flats of 70-100 sqm. The platform over the base will be planted. The middle part of the 4 buildings will be consisting of 3 or 4-bedroom, 150-200 sqm flats, whereas upper floors are reserved for 300-400sqm luxury penthouses.

A green zone visually and conceptually separates the houses from the center. Residences attached to the common area through alternative passageways.

Consisting of high-rise and low-rise buildings and facilities in various heights, the complex is very dynamic and still harmonious; its vivacity contrasts with Astana’s strait land and becomes very distinctive. The closest example for this unique multi-purpose facility is Dubai International Exhibition Center.


Site Area: 200.000 m2
Construction Area: 204.310 m2
EXPO LLP
2006 / astana