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EXPO-2017 Sphere will put Astana on the map: Khuan Chew

05 october 2015, 16:08
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The Sphere of EXPO 2017 in Astana. Still frame from the model video
The Sphere of EXPO 2017 in Astana. Still frame from the model video
Photo courtesy of akorda.kz
Photo courtesy of akorda.kz

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has met with KCA International and Sembol Constructionto talk about the upcoming EXPO-2017 and further development of Astana, Tengrinews reports citing the press office of Akorda.

Akhmetzhan Yessimov, the newly appointed Chairman of the Board of Astana EXPO-2017 steering company, also attended the meeting. He reported on the progress in the construction of EXPO-2017 venues, promotion work and plans for the venues after the exhibition.

Khuan Chew, design principle founder at KCA International, and Fettah Tamince, the founder of Sembol Construction, took part in the meeting as well.

Chew, the designer of famous Burj Al Arab, presented President Nazarbayev the concept of the main venue of the EXPO-2017 – the Sphere. "We showed him in details the different floors starting from the eighth floor where we have different ideas and innovations," she said at the press-briefing following the meeting with President Nazarbayev.

The Sphere is the central venue of the EXPO-2017 complex in Astana. It is a glass ball of 80 meters in diameter with two wind generators in the upper part. It has 8 floors and a total floor area of 26 thousand square meters. Besides innovations at the eighth floor it will accommodate a number of cultural sites, including a museum and Kazakhstan-Astana pavilion. The first floor the building will have a special route to educate the visitors of the history of Kazakhstan and different stages of its development, and about culture and traditions of the Kazakh people.

The Sphere is due to be completed in the end of 2016.

During the October 2 meeting, the Kazakh President stressed the importance of the theme of the EXPO-2017 in Astana - Future Energy. Technologies of the future in renewable and alternative energies should be well represented at the Kazakhstani pavilion, he said.

"I believe that the key point is to show the idea of new energy. We will be demonstrating it in the main pavilion - the Sphere," President Nazarbayev said.

This was echoed by Khuan Chew in her statement after the meeting.  "Of course there are many innovations that are still being developed and we have to update our equipment. So that they can be changing all the time to show in the future what is happening, what is being invented, what is being harnessed for future energy. (...) We invite leaders of all the organizations who are developing in solar, in wind, in biomass - different types, different sources of energy. We are showcasing it in the Sphere building," the renowned architect said.

According to KCA International's design principle founder, this will make Kazakhstan's Astana a big center of innovation and bring it to the forefront of "promoting and developing future energy".

Chew said that the Sphere would become the key structure both in terms of architecture and design. Moreover, the Sphere would become a brand of its own similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris and Sydney Opera House.

"This is so important for Astana, because it will be very iconic, and the architecture and design of the sphere will become recognizable. And this building will become like the Sydney Opera House, like Eiffel Tower. People will know this building, what it is, when they see it, that is stands for Future Energy. And it will be in Astana. This will be a big putting Astana on the map of the world. People will come and they will want to see what is happening in the EXPO 2017 and beyond 2017," Khuan Chew said.     

KCA International is in Kazakhstan not only for the EXPO, the cooperation stretches far beyond the event. "We even showed him (President Nazarbayev) a model that we are going to create of Astana in 2050, and what happens in the lives of people in this future of Astana," Chew said after the meeting.

The Sphere has no official name so far. Earlier, a well known economist Jeremy Rifkin proposed naming the architectural piece Yelbasy (President in Kazakh). "I have proposed to create a Biosphere Research Center under the Nazarbayev University and make the sphere it headquarters," Rifkin said back in 2013. But the decision to name the main building of the EXPO-2017 has still not been made.

By Gyuzel Kamalova and Tatyana Kuzmina


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