Asif Khan unveils designs for £2 million UK Expo pavilion

Based on the theme of “We are Energy”, the pavilion will go on display at the Astana Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan from June.

© Asif Khan

Designer and architect Asif Khan’s energy-inspired designs for the UK pavilion at Astana Expo 2017 have been revealed.

More than 100 nations including the UK are participating in this year’s three-month long Expo, which is taking place in Kazakhstan’s capital city. It will act as a platform for countries to promote themselves as business and visitor destinations, showcasing national examples of innovation and creativity.

Following a tender put out by UK Trade and Investment in April 2016 to design the £2 million pavilion, a multidisciplinary team including Khan was selected from a shortlist of unnamed candidates to work on the project last July.

“Future Energy”

Khan has now unveiled his designs for the pavilion, which is based on Expo’s overall theme of “Future Energy”. It aims to highlight environmental issues such as the need to reduce CO2 emissions and increase energy-efficiency and accessibility.

The 1,100m2 pavilion, which explores the theme of “We are Energy”, comprises a circular, light-based installation and will feature a continuous soundtrack composed by musician Brian Eno.

Commenting on the design of the installation, Khan says: “The universe was formed 13.8 billion years ago. At that moment all energy and matter was in the same place at the same time.

“The idea that everything, including life on earth, is comprised of this archaic energy is fascinating to me. I wanted to find a way to express this relationship to our visitors and explore how energy is being continually harnessed and balanced around us,” he adds.

Wolfgang Buttress and Thomas Heatherwick

Khan’s installation for the Astana programme follows the Milan Expo 2015, which featured a beehive-inspired UK pavilion designed by Wolfgang Buttress and Thomas Heatherwick’s Shanghai 2010 pavilion, both of which won best in show.

The UK Pavilion at Astana Expo 2017 will focus on UK innovations and discoveries that have changed the way we live our lives, including the turbojet engine, steam locomotion, electromagnetic radiation and the recently discovered Nobel Prize winning advanced material graphene.

Khan’s installation for the Expo is currently under construction and will be on display during the course of the event, which runs from 10 June to 10 September 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

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