Preparations for EXPO 2017

Astana prepares for EXPO 2017 together with GIP Glazing.

EXPO 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, will open its doors to the world on 10 June 2017 and visitors are warmly invited to explore the country and attend the event, which will run until 10 September 2017. The focus of Expo 2017 is “Energy of the Future”.
Kazakhstan hopes the eyes of the world will focus on Astana for these three months and is building its expectations on more than this slogan. It is also constructing a complex of spectacular buildings more ambitious than anything seen before at world exhibitions.

At the end of September 2013, the Chicago-based architects AS+GG Architecture were selected from 105 submissions. The company was founded by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill after they left Skidmore Owings & Merrill in Chicago in 2006. Since then, they have been commissioned to realise many major projects all over the world.

Werner Sobek from Stuttgart was entrusted with planning the supporting structures and sustainability concept. The Werner Sobek Group is recognised around the world for its expertise in facade planning and sustainability consulting.

The first meeting between the Turkish general contractor and GIP Glazing took place in November 2014. GIP GmbH has been operating in Kazakhstan for a number of years and knows the regional requirements. It has already constructed an imposing polygonal ceramic facade for the country’s National Space Centre (Report in GIPfelstürmer newsletter 01/2014). In fact, GIP GmbH is building a similar facade with a ceramic area of over 140,000 m2 at a residential complex in Highvill, Astana. Further projects in Astana, Kazakhstan are already in the planning phase.

The host country’s main pavilion at EXPO 2017 was planned to take the form of a glass ball and be constructed using spherically curved, thermoformed panes of insulated glass. As well as developing the sophisticated mullion-transom design, the main challenge was to procure approx. 19,175 m² of thermoformed, insulated glass in just six months.
After an ever growing number of well-known and globally networked manufacturers of insulated glass stated that they would be unable to supply such a large quantity of the required products within the specified period, a team met with facade planners from GIP to develop an alternative design for the building envelope. Very quickly, the planning team from GIP Glazing produced a concept that used a curved, mullion-transom facade as a supporting structure. This could be combined with planar panes of insulated glass with properties and geometry that would allow them to be cold-formed and mounted on the mullion-transom structure. Not only was it simple to deliver the cold-formed panes of insulated glass on-time, the new concept also generated significant financial savings for the general contractor.


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Project details:

Type of building:
New build
Type of project:
Cultural building
3D – curved facade
Inhouse development based on: FW 50 + SG & CLIMAPLUS ULTRA N

Project participants:

Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Chicago USA & Werner Sobeck Stuttgart
System supplier:
GIP GmbH & Saint Gobain Austria
Specialist contractor:
GIP Glazing GmbH Braunschweig / Leipzig & TEUFFEL ENGINEERING Stuttgart / Berlin




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